BEIJING, November 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday indicated Russia’s continuing interest in cooperation with China on defence sector issues.
Shoigu told top Chinese officials during a visit to Beijing for the 17th Sino-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Military and Technological Cooperation that joint work between the two powers would enhance stability across the region.
“The closer the cooperation is between our two countries, including in the military-technological area, the more peaceful our region will be,” he said.
This was Shoigu's first official foreign trip since replacing Anatoly Serdyukov as defense minister earlier this month.
Senior Chinese military officials in turn indicated their support for closer cooperation with Moscow.
“We see our relationship with Russia as a priority in the field of international military cooperation,” said Xu Qiliang, deputy head of the Communist Party of China’s Central Military Commission.
He added that Beijing wishes to "bring the relationship to a higher level."
As China's economy and influence have continued to grow, the country has become increasingly attractive to Moscow as a regional partner. The two powers already have alligned interests in foreign policy - from batting down Western criticism of human rights abuses to their joint stance against foreign intervention in the Syrian civil war.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.