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China's Xi, Australian defense minister pledge improved military ties

(Xinhua)

08:11, June 08, 2012

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, June 6, 2012. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Vice President Xi Jinping met with Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the improvement of bilateral military ties.

Military relations between China and Australia form a significant part of the two nations' comprehensive partnership, said Xi, who is also vice chairman of the Central Military Commission.

The development of military relations between the two countries has remained positive in recent years, with new progress being made in multiple areas, Xi said.

Xi said China hopes to make more efforts with Australia to expand the range of pragmatic communication and cooperation between the two countries so as to advance bilateral military relations.

Xi said the development of China-Australia relations at large has remained sound, noting frequent communication between leaders and officials from both countries, fruitful economic cooperation and close coordination in the handling of major regional and international issues.

The healthy development of China-Australia relations is in the interests of people from both countries and will contribute to regional peace, stability and development, Xi said.

Smith said the Australian government attaches great importance to its relations with China. He said Australia is willing to make concerted efforts with China, taking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Australia-China diplomatic relations as an opportunity, to deepen mutual exchanges and cooperation in multiple fields including national defense and boost Australia-China relations to a new level.

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