China looks for defence cooperation with Russia

China looks for defence cooperation with Russia

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Beijing:

China has pledged to strengthen military ties with Russia and sought access to Moscow's high-tech defence technology to further its plans to emerge as a maritime power to counter US military push into the Asia-Pacific.

Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission Xu Qiliang and Defense Minister Liang Guanglie met with new Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

Shoigu's visit here would be watched with interest by India as it has the wide range of defence cooperation with Russia.

Besides holding talks with his Chinese counterpart Liang and other top military officials, Shoigu also met outgoing President Hu Jintao who termed the Sino-Russian military ties the most significant.

Hu in his report to the just concluded key Congress of the ruling Communist Party said China should emerge as a maritime power to enhance its capacity for exploiting marine resources, resolutely  safeguard China's maritime rights and interests.

China has recently launched its first aircraft carrier made from the hull of a former Soviet ship and looked to for compatible aircraft for it as it plans to manufacture three other aircraft carriers.

China which is yet to develop an aviation engines for its vast fleet of fighter aircraft imports most of them from Russia, which has emerged as a major supplier in view of US and EU ban on arms sales to Beijing.

Hu said, "China would like to work with Russia to implement the next ten-year development programme and key areas of cooperation and maintain the continued development of both overall and military  relations."

Hu recalled the China-Russia relations in the past decade, saying the development was "unprecedented."

Shoigu visit came in the backdrop of recent changes in Chinese political and military set up.

While Vice President Xi Jinping has succeeded Hu as both General Secretary of the Party and Military Chief, the entire military high command has been revamped.

Xi will be formally taking over as President in March when Hu steps down.

In his meeting with Russian Minister Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission Xu Qiliang said China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has maintained a positive, healthy and stable momentum, during a meeting with Shoigu.

China is willing to work with Russia to positively implement the important agreement reached between the leaders and further promote pragmatic communication and cooperation so as to upgrade their military relations to a higher level," Xu said.

Shoigu said the two countries' relationship has reached an unprecedented level and the two sides have broad common interests and deep mutual trust.

He noted that the two sides' military relations have developed smoothly, witnessed by 2012 Russia-China joint naval exercise and Peace Mission 2012 Shanghai Cooperation Organization Joint Anti-Terrorism Military Exercise.

Shoigu said the development of China-Russia relations has brought pragmatic interests to the people of both countries and has made a positive contribution to world peace and stability, state run Xinhua reported.

Story first published on: November 21, 2012 21:55 (IST)

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