|Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (front) addresses the press during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) defense ministers' meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, March 17, 2011. The one-day SCO defense ministers' meeting passed a joint declaration and 2012-2013 partnership program of SCO countries. (Xinhua/Zhao Yu)
ASTANA, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on Thursday met with his Kazakh and Kyrgyz counterparts here to discuss boosting military relations.
The ministers, who attended the one-day defense ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, exchanged views on bilateral ties, regional security, and security cooperation within the SCO framework.
During his meeting with Kazakh Defense Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov, Liang, who is also China's State Councilor, highly praised bilateral relations.
He said China is willing to make joint efforts with Kazakhstan to promote bilateral friendly exchanges and practical cooperation in the defense field.
Dzhaksybekov, for his part, said Kazakhstan regarded strengthening cooperation with China in security as one of its diplomatic priorities. His country, Dzhaksybekov said, hopes to expand bilateral cooperation with China in various fields on the basis of mutual benefits.
During his meeting with Kyrgyz Defense Minister Abibilla Kudaiberdiyev, Liang said China attaches great importance to bilateral defense and military cooperation. He said China would like to make a joint effort with Kyrgyzstan to crack down on the "three forces," namely terrorism, separatism and extremism.
Kudaiberdiyev said he hoped the two militaries would boost cooperation in curbing and striking at the "three evil forces" of terrorism, extremism and separatism, and keeping regional security and stability.
The SCO, founded in Shanghai in 2001, groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It pledges to enhance security, trade, cultural, military and justice cooperation among member countries.