Russian defense minister praises cooperation with China as 'contribution to global stability'

Russian defense minister praises cooperation with China as 'contribution to global stability'

Sergey Shoygu, Chinese counterpart Dong Jun hold first in-person meeting on sidelines of SCO session in Astana

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) - Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu on Friday praised military cooperation with China as "a significant contribution to maintaining global and regional stability."

Russia and China regularly hold joint military exercises, and successfully fulfill combat training tasks of varying degrees of complexity, Shoygu said at the first in-person meeting with his Chinese counterpart Dong Jun on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) defense ministers meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Shoygu highlighted rising tensions worldwide, citing the West's "egotistical, neocolonial actions" as the principal reason for instability.

The Russian-Chinese cooperation differs from the global confrontation trend, thanks to the contacts of the leaders, and the two countries have been building a multifaceted partnership, he said.

"Russia and China demonstrate a new model of interstate relations. It is based on an equal, trusting dialogue, taking into account each other's fundamental interests," he said.

Shoygu told Dong he expects their meeting to contribute to the development of "the closest and most fruitful cooperation" between Russia and China, including in the defense sector.

For his part, Dong said the armies of China and Russia "make a significant contribution to ensuring strategic stability on the planet."

"In a volatile international environment, it is especially important that the relationship between our armed forces remains highly dynamic, responding to the trends of the era. Our cooperation is essential for strategic stability on the planet," he said.

Dong was appointed as Chinese defense minister last December. He held talks with Shoygu via video link on March 31.

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