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China to promote defense cooperation with EU: defense ministry

(Xinhua)

10:56, October 27, 2011

BEIJING, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- China will work with the Europe Union (EU) to create conditions for the further development of defense-related cooperation, according to a spokesman from the Ministry of National Defense.

Spokesman Yang Yujun on Wednesday reviewed China-EU defense cooperation, vowing to enrich and expand the content of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.

China has established bilateral military ties with all 27 EU member states and conducted a wide range of cooperative relations, with defense and security interactions also showing good development, Yang said.

The defense departments of both sides have held three rounds of policy dialogues, Yang said. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton visited China this year and met with Defense Minister Liang Guanglie.

"The two sides exchanged views on promoting China-EU military ties and enhancing maritime escort cooperation and reached several agreements," Yang said.

Yang said maritime escorting in the Gulf of Aden and waters near Somalia has become a new area for cooperation between China and the EU.

Both sides have cooperated well during meetings of the UN-led International Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia since international escort initiatives began in 2008, Yang said.

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