Russian defense chief praises China as 'strategic partner, good neighbor and loyal friend'

Russian defense chief praises China as 'strategic partner, good neighbor and loyal friend'

Russian, Chinese defense ministers meet on sidelines of Moscow Conference on International Security

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) - Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu on Tuesday praised China as "a strategic partner, good neighbor and loyal friend" of Moscow.

Speaking at a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu on the sidelines of the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in Russia's capital, Shoygu said Moscow and Beijing maintain contacts at the highest level, carry out joint military exercises of ground, navy and air forces.

Shoygu said cooperation with China is developing both in bilateral and multilateral formats -- within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Association of South East Asian Nations Plus (ASEAN-Plus).

He thanked Shangfu for taking part in the MCIS and Army-2023 military-technical forum, which began on Monday.

The minister said "a big, serious step has been taken since the previous exhibition, where the products of the Chinese industry were also widely presented."

"Today, all companies and all countries represented at the exhibition take into account the experience of recent events, including events in the special military operation zone," he said.

Shoygu, who met Shangfu for the third time this year, also congratulated his counterpart on the 96th anniversary of People's Liberation Army, which was celebrated on Aug. 1, wishing him success in defending the motherland.

The Chinese and Russian presidents, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, announced a "no limits" partnership in February 2022, just days before Moscow launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine. The two again met this March, entering a “new era” of cooperation.

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