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English>>Foreign Affairs

New Zealand military chief to seek greater cooperation with PLA

(Xinhua)    14:32, June 15, 2015

WELLINGTON, June 15 -- The head of New Zealand's armed forces said he is visiting China this week to build links with the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

"The visit is an opportunity to extend our engagement with the People's Liberation Army," chief of defense force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, said in a statement Monday.

"These visits are important because they increase understanding between respective countries' militaries, as we look to increased joint activity and co-operation with the PLA."

Keating told Xinhua in an interview in April last year -- three months after his appointment -- that building relations between the armed forces of New Zealand and China would be a priority for him.

He said he wanted to look at proactive areas where the NZDF and the PLA could cooperate in the South Pacific, including areas such as medical support and engineering works as well as disaster relief.

He also said that expanding operational and tactical level cooperation to enhance trust and understanding among junior and mid-level officers would be a key feature of future engagement.

"Educational exchanges and enhanced policy dialogues will also be an increasingly important strand of our future engagement with the PLA," he said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Jin Chen,Gao Yinan)

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