Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online
General Chen Bingde, chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army of China, made an official visit to Russia from Aug. 3 to Aug. 8. The six-day visit featuring high-level meetings proved fruitful and received wide media attention both at home and abroad.
Military cooperation is an important component of the strategic cooperative partnership between China and Russia. As their bilateral relations have developed from "friendly neighboring relations" into a "constructive partnership" and then into "strategic cooperative partnership," the two countries have made great efforts to promote the healthy and rapid development of bilateral military ties in a comprehensive way. Their military cooperation boasts pragmatism as well as multiple layers and fields. Chen's visit has provided fresh impetus for greater military cooperation between the two countries.
Chen met with Russian Defense Minister Anatoli Serdyukov and held talks with Nikolai Makarov, chief of the Russian General Staff, during the visit. According to a joint statement made by the heads of the two countries' General Staff, both sides have agreed to continue to strengthen military exchanges at various levels, enhance strategic communication and actively coordinate so as to cope with new regional and global threats and challenges as well as maintain and perfect the China-Russia General Staff-level strategic consultation mechanism. The two countries have expressed their great willingness to conduct military cooperation through the joint statement, which is the first time in the history of the two countries' General Staff-level exchanges and is of symbolic significance to deepen their military cooperation.
The visit has also enriched the content of two countries' cooperation in terms of military operations and education. China and Russia have set a good example for major countries in terms of practical military cooperation. The pragmatism of their military cooperation has manifested itself in the formation of a cooperative mechanism for military operations and the continuous expansion in their military education cooperation.
The two countries' "Peace Mission" joint military exercises have transformed from bilateral to multilateral, developing into a series of military exercises within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This has become a major highlight of the pragmatic military cooperation between China and Russia, promoted regional military cooperation and become one of well-known routine joint military exercises in Asia.
The Chief of Staff Chen and the Chief of Staff Makarov confirmed that China and Russia will continue to carry out bilateral joint anti-terrorism exercises within the frame of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It indicates that the cooperation in the realm of military operations between China and Russia will continue to develop deeply and widely. Regarding the cooperation in the realm of military education between the two countries, the large number of military students sent by each other, the large investment put in by the two countries, the rich and specific contents of the training and the high level of training could rarely be seen in the military cooperation between any other large countries. Both sides undertook to keep carrying out the military education cooperation and successfully do the work of sending military students to each other. It was one of the specific results that the Chief of Staff Chen achieved during this visit.
Both sides also exchanged the experience of military training and reform. Since Russia started to carry out a military reform in 2009, the military establishment and system of Russia's armed forces have changed, and their military training has also been strengthened. The Chief of Staff Chen and the military delegation of China visited the Western Military Region and watched the training of the Fifth Independent Central Guard Motorized Infantry Brigade and its equipment. They also visited the headquarters of the Northern Fleet and observedthe "Admiral Kuznetsov" aircraft carrier and "Panther" nuclear-powered submarine. The Chief of Staff Chen closely observed the achievements of the system and establishment reform and training reform of Russia's armed forces and widely communicated with Russian officers and soldiers.
The Chief of Staff Chen's visit to Russia is an important practice for promoting the practical military cooperation between China and Russia and will definitely bring about positive effects for the further development of the two countries' military cooperation.