Chinese, Belarussian defense ministers discuss military ties

Visiting Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan and his Belarussian counterpart Leonid Maltsev held official talks in the Belarussian capital of Minsk on Wednesday to discuss military ties between the two nations.

Maltsev said China was an important power in maintaining world peace and stability, and also a trusted strategic friend of Belarus.

"Cooperation with China is one of the priorities of Belarus's foreign policy. Belarus is willing to deepen our cooperation to a broader and deeper extent," Maltsev said.

"China-Belarus relations have enjoyed successful development on the basis of mutual benefit and mutual respect since both sides established diplomatic relations in 1992," he added.

Cao, also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and state councilor, said China was satisfied with the smooth development of bilateral ties.

"China is ready to work with Belarus to further promote friendly ties and cooperation between the two armies, on the basis of the principles of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and non-interference in each other's internal affairs," Cao said.

Cao arrived in Minsk on Tuesday for a four-day official goodwill visit at the invitation of Maltsev. He also met with Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko.