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Chinese defense minister vows to boost cooperation with Macedonia


09:12, January 12, 2013

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov (R) shakes hands with visiting Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie in Skopje, Macedonia, on Jan. 11, 2013. (Xinhua/Aleksandar Kovaceski)

SKOPJE, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- China is ready to boost cooperation with Macedonia in various fields, including the military, and raise bilateral ties to a new level, visiting Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie pledged here Friday.

China-Macedonia ties have been developing steadily since their normalization, Liang said when meeting with Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov.

Liang, the first Chinese defense minister to visit Macedonia, said the two countries had carried out frequent high-level exchanges, deepened political mutual trust and achieved positive results in cooperation in various areas.

China appreciates Macedonia's firm adherence to the one-China policy and hopes Macedonia would continue to support it on major issues of core interests, he said.

The Macedonian president said his country attaches great importance to cooperation with China in such fields as politics, economy and culture. He expressed his thanks to China for its long-term support and assistance to Macedonia.

Ivanov lauded the great achievements made by China in national construction and spoke highly of the significant role China had played in safeguarding international order.

He vowed to step up military cooperation with China and deepen strategic mutual trust between the two countries.

Also on Friday, Liang met with Macedonian Defense Minister Fatmir Besimi and Chief of the General Staff Goranco Koteski, exchanging views on relations between the two countries' armies and on regional security among other issues of common concern.

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