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China to further military co-op with India

    KUNMING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to push forward military exchanges and cooperation with India in an effort to safeguard regional security and stability, a senior Chinese military official said here on Tuesday.

    Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of General Staff of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China, made the remarks at a press conference following the conclusion of the first-ever Sino-Indian anti-terror military training held over the past five days in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

    Military cooperation will be carried on in the spirit of mutual respect, equal consultation and mutual benefits to contribute to the building of a harmonious region with long-lasting peace and common prosperity, said Lieutenant General Ma, also head of the Chinese military observer delegation.

    Promoting military communication and cooperation will play an important role in developing strategic partnership of the two neighbors, also the leading developing nations in the world, Ma noted.

    He recalled a number of bilateral military exchanges in recent years, including official visits, meetings on defense and safety issues, and searching and rescue manoeuver on the sea, saying they reflected the common efforts and desire of both sides in deepening cooperation.

    The anti-terrorism military training, which began on Friday morning, was held to implement the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding for Exchanges and Cooperation in the Field of Defense signed between the defense ministries of China and India on May 29, 2006.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang has said that the military training was intended to enhance mutual understanding and trust and strengthen bilateral exchanges in the field of anti-terrorism, deter the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and promote the development of the bilateral strategic partnership.

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