Beijing, April 17. Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Sunday, to whom he said that Beijing is willing to “strengthen strategic communication” between the armies of the two countries.

“China is willing to work with Russia to strengthen strategic communication between the two militaries and strengthen multilateral coordination and cooperation to make new contributions to safeguarding global and regional security and stability,” he said. said Mr. Li, quoted by the state agency Xinhua.

He added that “the mutual military trust between the two countries has been increasingly consolidated, which translates into substantial progress in terms of cooperation.”

According to Xinhua, Putin recalled “Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent and successful visit to Russia”, during which “the path for the development of relations between the two countries” was mapped out, agreeing to “further strengthen strategic coordination and deepen practical cooperation”. in various fields”.

The Russian president added that military cooperation plays “an important role in Russian-Chinese relations”, and expressed his hope that the two armies will “strengthen cooperation in joint training, professional exchanges and other areas”.

Li is in Russia from April 16 to 19 at the invitation of his counterpart from the Eurasian country, Sergei Shoigu.

During his stay, he will meet Russian military leaders and visit military academies, Chinese military spokesman Tan Kefei said last week.

The Chinese and Russian armies “have maintained close interaction” which has led to “new developments in strategic communication, joint military exercises and pragmatic cooperation”, Tan said.

This interaction “enriched the comprehensive strategic partnership” between Moscow and Beijing, the spokesperson said at the time.

The Chinese military said in late March that it was “ready to increase cooperation and communication” with the Russian armed forces.

Li, sanctioned in 2018 by the United States for buying weapons from Russian state-owned Rosoboronexport, was appointed defense minister in March this year.

The Chinese government, which has shown its opposition to sanctions against Moscow, issued a statement in February on what it calls the “conflict” in Ukraine in which it defends a ceasefire and the abandonment of the “mentality Cold War”, a proposal criticized by the West for having put “the aggressor and the attacked” on the same level.

In its document, Beijing defends respect for the territorial integrity of countries, including Ukraine, and the “legitimate security concerns of all parties”, in reference to Russia.

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