Russia and China are concerned over US attempts to strengthen its military and political clout in the Asia-Pacific Region
Defense ministries of Russia and China seek to form a regional collective security system in the Asia-Pacific region, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Tuesday after talks with his Chinese counterpart Colonel General Chang Wanquan in Beijing.
According to the Russian defense minister, Russia and China are concerned over US attempts to strengthen its military and political clout in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR).
“During talks with Comrade Chang Wanquan, we discussed the state and prospects of the Russian-Chinese relations in the military field, exchanged opinions on the military-political situation in general and the APR in particular,” Shoigu said.
“We also expressed concern over US attempts to strengthen its military and political clout in the APR,” he said. “We believe that the main goal of pooling our effort is to shape a collective regional security system.”
Sergey Shoigu announced that Russia and China will hold joint naval drills in the Pacific and in the Mediterranean in 2015.
“We plan to conduct a regular joint naval exercise in the Mediterranean next spring. Another joint naval drill is planned in the Pacific,” he said.
Touching upon his talks with Chang Wanquan, Shoigu said the sides expressed satisfaction that the spectrum of joint activities in the defense sphere “has visibly expanded and gained a systemic character.” In May, Russia and China conducted third Joint Sea naval exercises, he noted.
In 2014, China’s teams took part in the tank biathlon world championship and international pilot competition Aviadrafts that were held in Russia. “Chinese servicemen demonstrated the high competitive spirit and skills,” the Russian defense minister said, adding that such events were “a good format for exchange of experience.”
“We have vast potential of cooperation in the defense sphere, and the Russian side is ready to develop it is a wide range of areas,” he added.
Shoigu said strengthening and expanding ties with China remains Russia’s overriding priority.
“Amid a highly volatile world situation, it becomes particularly important to strengthen reliable good-neighbourly relations between our countries,” Shoigu said at talks with his Chinese counterpart General Chang Wanquan.
“This is not only an important factor for security of states but also a contribution to peace and stability on the Eurasian continent and beyond,” he said, adding that “regular private meetings between the leaders of Russia and China give a powerful impetus to development of bilateral partnership”.
The minister noted that next year marks the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in WWII. “The peoples of our countries took heavy casualties in it,” Shoigu said. “Russia’s and China’s solidarity is of principal importance amid attempts to falsify history and glorify fascism.”
A wide range of events is being planned to celebrate this date, both bilaterally and with counterparts from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a security grouping comprising Russia, China and the Central Asian former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Shoigu said.
Russia and China also started to regularly hold joint naval and anti-terrorism drills, the minister said, adding that the countries’ military forces “showed a high level of cooperation” during an operation to escort vessels carrying Syria’s chemical weapons. Much work was also done during this year’s joint Naval Interaction exercises in the East China Sea, he said.
Shoigu stressed that the two countries maintain high level of military and technical cooperation, noting that issues of that cooperation were “under constant review by our heads of state”.