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China says defense cooperation should help regional stability

(Xinhua)

13:33, February 24, 2012

BEIJING, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said Thursday that countries' defense cooperation should be conducive to regional peace and stability, and not target a third party.

China always believes that the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region is in the common interests of countries in the region, Geng said at a regular press briefing, when commenting on some of the military drills the United States is going to conduct with some of China's neighboring countries.

An exercise, dubbed Cobra Gold, wrapped up recently in east Thailand. The 10-day multinational military exercise was led by the U.S., and at least five other Asian nations, including Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), participated.

Geng said this exercise started in the 1980s. China's armed forces have observed the exercise since 2002, as invited by the Thai armed forces. China also sent a four-member team to watch this year's Cobra Gold exercise, he said.

As for a joint military exercise the U.S. and the ROK are going to conduct later this month, Geng said all relevant sides should take the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula into consideration, promote the ease of situation and maintain regional peace and stability.

He said peace and stability on the peninsula is in the common interest of all sides, and China will make unremitting efforts for that.

A major annual U.S.-ROK drill, dubbed Key Resolve, will run from Feb. 27 to March 9. Another joint air, ground and naval field training exercise known as Foal Eagle will be held from March 1 to April 30.

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