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Xi Jinping Visits Russian Defence Ministry

2013/03/24

On March 23, Chinese President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping visited the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation. In the photo, Xi inspects the three-service Guard of Honor together with Russian Defence Minister Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoygu.

On March 23 local time, Chinese President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xi Jinping visited the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation. This is the first time for China’s head of state to visit the Ministry. The Russian side attached great importance to the visit.

In the afternoon, military flags were flying high and the honor guards were standing solemnly in front of the building of the Ministry of Defence. At 3 o'clock, Xi arrived, who was warmly welcomed by the Russian Defence Minister Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoygu. A grand welcoming ceremony was soon held for President Xi. Amid the mighty military music, Xi reviewed the Guard of Honor of the three services who, standing upright and neat, saluted Xi with their eyes. The brass band played the two countries' national anthems.

After the welcoming ceremony, Xi met with Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoygu and senior military generals of Russia. Xi said that he was very pleased to have the opportunity to visit the Ministry of Defence at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin. Xi believed that this visit would enhance the strategic and political mutual trust between the two nations and boost their military-to-military relationship and cooperation.

Bilateral military cooperation, Xi noted, is of special significance in their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. Military cooperation between the two countries is an important part and pillar in such partnership. It is gratifying that in recent years the exchanges and cooperation between the military forces of the two countries are constantly strengthened, particularly in the fields of high-level contacts, personnel training, joint military exercises and military technologies.

Xi stressed that built on those achievements, it is imperative for the two sides to further strengthen coordination and cooperation as the world, still undergoing profound restructuring, is still tainted with inequalities, disequilibriums, unrests, conventional and unconventional threats and on-going and spreading regional conflicts. Despite the complex and volatile international landscape, the general trend still remains a trend toward peace, development and cooperation. A strengthened cooperation between the countries is, therefore, very important so that the two countries can join the international community in confronting those threats and challenges. Xi hoped that the military of the two countries will sincerely implement the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, work out better plans of defense and military exchanges and cooperation, boost the deeper and more extensive inter-military ties so as to contribute to the maintenance of common interests of the two countries and the promotion of regional peace and stability, and that of the world.

Russian Defence Minister Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoygu extended a warm welcome to Xi's visit to the Ministry. He noted that being the first foreign head of state to visit the Russian Ministry of Defence and the Command Center of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Xi's current visit fully demonstrates the high level and special nature of the strategic partnership of coordination between the two countries. The international situation at present is not positive as extremist and terrorist powers have re-emerged, posing series of threats to regional and global peace and stability. As friendly neighbors and partners for comprehensive strategic coordination, Russia and China should strengthen their military exchanges and coordination so as to safeguard common security and international strategic balance.

Later after the meeting, Xi visited the Command Center of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation with the accompaniment of Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoygu. The officers of land force, navy and air force on duty at the Center all stood up and saluted Xi. Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, briefed Xi on the Center. Dozens of Russian officers were operating and monitoring the computers attentively. The large arched screen showed alternately real-time images of the Russian land force, navy and air force, strategic missile forces and special forces on duty and at drills. Xi listened, through the control systems, to the reports from generals of Russian fleets on marine escort missions, commanding officers of relevant regions on duty and heads of military industry enterprises that have cooperation with China.

After hearing the reports, Xi acknowledged that this visit enables the Chinese side to know about the achievements of the Russian defence and military development. He hoped that the defence talks to be conducted the next day between the defence ministers of the two countries would push forward the military exchanges and cooperation between two sides, thus injecting new vitality and momentum into the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Chang Wanquan and Yang Jiechi were also on the visiting tour.

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