China has placed the consolidation and enhancement of military ties with neighboring countries at the top of its agenda.
The continuously growing Sino-Russian military relations have pushed forward strategic cooperation with Russia, China's largest neighbor.
During the first two years of the new century, Zhang Wannian and Chi Haotian, both vice-chairmen of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), have visited Russia.
During Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov's China tour last May, China's top state and military leaders, including State President and CMC Chairman Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji, met with him and members of his delegation. The two sides had an in- depth exchange of views on the international strategic situation and the enhancement of mutual trust and cooperation in the military field.
China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan held discussions for strengthening mutual trust and disarmament along the border regions which eventually led to the founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which now groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The "Shanghai Spirit", which was summed up as "mutual trust and benefits, equality, coordination, respect for diversified civilizations, and the pursuit of common development", was not only acclaimed inside the SCO, but also heeded highly by the rest of the world.
During this year's SCO defense ministers meeting, ministers exchanged views and reached a consensus on such issues as jointly fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism, further increasing military cooperation and safeguarding regional security.
To strengthen anti-terrorist cooperation, the Chinese and Kyrgyzstani armies recently held a successful joint anti-terrorism exercise.
In addition, China has increased military exchanges with northeast Asian countries, and continued to develop military relations with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and south Asian nations, making unremitting efforts for regional peace, stability and development.
Xinhua, October 28, 2002