PNG TO STRENGTHEN MILITARY TIES WITH CHINA

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Pledges to build on 10-year relationship

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, July 1, 2009) – Papua New Guinea has pledged to strengthen and expand its military ties with China. PNG Defence Force commander Peter Ilau is in China for a week-long military exchange visit.

Xinhua, China’s government news agency, reported successful talks last Friday between Cmdr Ilau and China’s defence minister Liang Guanglie and Chen Bingde, chief of staff of the Chinese people’s liberation army.

PNG is ready to work with China to push forward the development of military ties in a sound, stable and sustained way, Cmdr Ilau was reported to have said.

Mr. Liang said China paid great attention to ties with PNG and was willing to promote friendly cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit, Xinhua reported.

"China also attached great importance to bilateral military cooperation and was ready to take substantial measures to advance military ties to a new level," Liang added.

The two countries’ military have spent the past 10 years in training partnerships and senior ranked military official visits. PNG forged bilateral ties with China in 1976.

Cmdr Ilau reassured China the PNG Government and armed forces continued to uphold the One-China policy.

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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