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Australia, China Defense Strategic Dialogue held in Canberra
2009/10/17

Visiting Chinese People's Liberation Army Chief of General Staff, General Chen Bingde (R) meets with Australian Defence Minister John Faulkner in Canberra, Australia, October 15, 2009. (Xinhua/Cao Yang)

Visiting Chinese People's Liberation Army Chief of General Staff, General Chen Bingde (R) meets with Australian Defence Minister John Faulkner in Canberra, Australia, October 15, 2009. (Xinhua/Cao Yang)

    CANBERRA, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- The 12th Australia and China Defense Strategic Dialogue was held Thursday in Canberra with participation of the visiting People's Liberation Army Chief of General Staff, General Chen Bingde.

    Chief of the Defense Force (CDF), Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, and the Secretary of Defense Ian Watt attended the annual dialogue.

    This is the 12th Defense Dialogue held between China and Australia, and the second at this level. The talks were upgraded to the Chief of Defense and Secretary level last year in recognition of the developing ties between the two militaries, the defense department said in a statement later Thursday.

    The Dialogue was an opportunity to exchange views on emerging strategic trends and establish a new series of engagement initiatives in education and areas of shared interest such as disaster relief and maritime security, Watt said as quoted in the statement.

    "I am pleased to welcome General Chen to Australia and look forward to us consolidating and building our bilateral defense relationship," he said.

    "Our discussions today have been frank and productive and reaffirm that we both view our defense engagement as an important part of the broader bilateral relationship."

    Air Chief Marshal Houston said "This type of dialogue is a major strategic asset for both countries. Our discussions today and those at the working level reflect a mutual commitment to addressing challenges that face our region."

    "The ability of countries to respond to strategic challenges in a cooperative and coordinated way is imperative. You only have to look to multilateral counter-piracy efforts off the Horn of Africa, to which both China and Australia contribute, to see the value of solid defense engagement and dialogue," he said.

Xinhua Editor: Li Xianzhi
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