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Russia, China seek closer military ties
By Hu Xiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-17 23:19

Russian Chief of General Staff Yury Baluyevsky vowed Thursday to develop a closer military relationship with the country's largest neighbour.

Baluyevsky arrived Beijing Thursday morning for a four-day visit, as plans are laid for the first joint military exercises between the two countries. It is Baluyevsky's first trip abroad since he took up the post last July.

The Russian general said developing a strategic co-operative partnership with China is a one of Russia's priorities.

Baluyevsky told his Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie during Thursday's meeting that Russia is willing to work with China to strengthen bilateral ties.

The meeting Thursday touched upon the upcoming military exercises, said a Chinese defence ministry source without giving further details.

The exercises are expected to be held in the second half of this year and will reportedly involve the army, navy, air force as well as submarines. A Russian military source said the exercise should help both sides co-ordinate in the fight against terrorism.

Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Land Forces, Vladimir Moltenskoi, earlier told Russian media that co-ordination would be completed in April.

The Russian-Chinese military exercises are supposed to be held on the Liaodong Peninsula of the Yellow Sea in August or September, but may be postponed until October, according to a Russia official source.

The planned number of participants is 200 people, 100 from each side. During the maneuvers, an anti-terrorist scenario will be practiced: Location and elimination of terrorists and drug dealers.

During Thursday's meeting, Liang said the growing co-operation between the two militaries is of great significant to the security in the region.

Friday, Baluyevsky is scheduled to meet Chinese Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan.

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