At the invitation of the Chinese side, Sergey Shoigu, Russian minister of defense, paid a friendly visit to China from November 20 to 21, 2012. Qian Lihua, director-general of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), expressed in an interview with the media that this is Shoigu's first visit to China after he took the office of the Russian defense minister, and his aim is very clear, which is to strengthen friendship, enhance mutual trust and deepen cooperation.
Qian Lihua said that both China and Russia are countries that carry considerable weight in the world and are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and the two countries are each other's largest neighbor. The sound development of the relations between China and Russia has fully demonstrated that the profound historical tradition of good-neighborly and friendly relations between the people of the two countries and the foreign policy of peace pursued by the two countries. It has significant influence not only on the two countries but also on the security, stability and development of the region and the world. Shoigu's visit to China reflects good personal friendship among defense and military leaders of the two countries.
Qian Lihua also expressed that the relations between the Chinese and Russian militaries maintain positive, stable and good momentum of development at the moment. The further improved cooperation mechanism between the two militaries has built a solid framework for the bilateral cooperation. The general staff headquarters of the two militaries have held 15 rounds of strategic consultation, and the working dialogue between the two countries' national defense ministries started in 2010 goes on smoothly and well at present. The two militaries have conducted three bilateral joint military exercises and participated in many joint anti-terrorism military exercises within the multilateral framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). With the joint efforts of the both sides, China and Russia are bound to further develop the relations between the two militaries compatible with the orientation of the relations between the two countries and conformable to maintaining the common interests of the two countries, so as to make greater contributions to constant development of the China-Russia comprehensive and strategic partnership of cooperation.
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