Chinese, British defense ministers pledge to boost bilateral ties

09:06, June 06, 2011      

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Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and his British counterpart Liam Fox met on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday.

They held in-depth discussions on bilateral relations, the relations between the militaries of the two countries as well as other issues of common concern.

Liang, who is also a State Councilor, said the frequent exchanges of visits by leaders of the two countries have helped push bilateral relations at various levels and on various fronts.

Liang said that there are new opportunities for bilateral relations and that the military ties are also at a stage of sound development.

The channels of dialogue have been expanding and the mutual trust increasing, with practical cooperation covering a wide spectrum ranging from the exchange of visits at senior levels and cooperation in the fight against pirates and peace keeping, to cooperation in professional training and exchanges between institutions of higher education.

Liang said he hopes to see the militaries of the two countries boosting their exchanges and cooperation and further advance the relations, which is in the long-term interests of the two sides.

He also invited the British defense secretary to visit China at a convenient time later this year.

Fox said that the interactions between different countries in the world have been ever increasing and that China is playing an ever larger role in the international system.

He said he sees extensive and great potentials in the cooperation between the military forces of the two countries.

He said he was hoping that the two sides can explore more flexible and practical ways to push ahead the exchanges and cooperation in fields such as peace keeping, antiterrorism, humanitarian relief and non-proliferation.

Both defense ministers were in Singapore for the Shangri-La Dialogue organized by the London-based think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies, a multilateral regional security forum that gathers defense ministers from 27 countries in the Asia Pacific and beyond. Liang held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the meeting with about a dozen of his counterparts.

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