Thursday, July 21, 2011

China, ROK agree to establish strategic defense dialogue

China, ROK agree to establish strategic defense dialogue

(Source: Xinhua) 2011-07-16

BEIJING, July 15 (Xinhua) -- China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) agreed on Friday to establish a strategic defense dialogue mechanism in order to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation and increase mutual trust and understanding between the two nations.

The agreement was announced in a joint press communique issued Friday amid the ROK's National Defense Minister Kim Kuan Jin's China visit.

According to the communique, the dialogue will take place every other year in the form of mutual visits, with the first round of dialogues set to be held this month.

The two sides reached a series of agreements, including one that will establish joint short-term education program for younger officers in both countries' armies, the communique said.

Both sides voiced their commitment to firmly oppose any actions that might jeopardize peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and expressed their hope that concerned parties will promote cooperation and expand understanding in the matter, the communique said.

China and the ROK both agreed in the communique to step up cooperation in peacekeeping, disaster relief, humanitarian aid and anti-piracy campaigns, particularly those that are taking place in the Gulf of Aden and waters around Somalia.

Kim arrived in Beijing on Thursday for his first visit to China after being appointed as the ROK's defense minister last year.

During his visit, Kim met with State Councilor and Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and Chief of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Staff Chen Bingde. He is also scheduled to visit a number of military facilities.

Editor:Dong Zhaohui

China discloses J-10 fighter jet base to S. Korean defense chief

SEOUL, July 17 (Yonhap) -- China disclosed a J-10 fighter jet base to the visiting South Korean defense minister last week, a defense official in Seoul said Sunday, a move signaling Beijing's intent to further strengthen bilateral defense and military exchanges.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin visited a Chinese air force training base in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, on Saturday, the last day of his three-day visit to China for talks with his Chinese counterpart, Liang Guanglie, the official said.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin (third from R) visits China's J-10 fighter jet base in Changzhou, south of Beijing, on July 16. (Yonhap)

During his visit to the base, about 200 kilometers south of Beijing, Kim watched the takeoff and landing of a J-10 jet, a China-developed fighter with an operational radius of 1,250 km, before having lunch with Chinese military officers there.

Liang said during his dinner with Kim on Friday that the J-10 jet base has never disclosed to a foreign country, according to the official.

Kim told South Korean reporters Saturday after the trip to the base that the J-10 is similar to the U.S.-built F-16 fighter, noting that China seems to be pushing for its exports.

On Friday, Kim and Liang reaffirmed their commitment to peace in the region and said they will strengthen their cooperation to maintain stability.

In a joint statement following their talks in Beijing, the ministers said they are "opposed to any provocative behavior that harms the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula."

Kim's trip was the first to China by a South Korean defense minister in two years and the first since the two deadly North Korean provocations last year.

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