|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Jun 14, 2017 11:10 AM EDT|
(Photo : Chinamil) Gen. Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, meets with Spanish soldiers.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) announced its willingness to strengthen cooperation with the Spanish Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Españolas) and to elevate the military relations between both armed forces.
The intent was made known by Gen. Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), who is currently in Spain at the invitation of the Spanish Armed Forces. Gen. Fan has met with Spanish Defense Minister María Dolores de Cospedal in Madrid.
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Military-to-military relations are an important part of China-Spain relations, said Gen. Fan. He also noted that bilateral military relations between both armed forces have developed smoothly in recent years, and their pragmatic cooperation in such fields as military training, exchange of naval ship visits and military education has yielded remarkable results.
Cospedal said Spain attaches great importance to developing the military-to-military relations with China. The country hopes to carry out pragmatic cooperation in anti-terrorism and peacekeeping operations.
It also looks forward to the bilateral defense cooperation agreement to be signed in the future so as to push forward better relations between the two armed forces.
Gen. Fan also met with high-ranking Spanish defense officials and visited the Defense Staff Headquarters; the Naval Staff Headquarters and a unit of the Spanish Army (Ejército de Tierra).
On non-military matters, Gen. Fan pointed to the developing momentum of China-Spain relations over the past few years.
He said that Chinese President Xi Jinping met recently with King Felipe VI of Spain in Astana and Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy in Beijing. He said these leaders reached important consensuses on pushing forward cooperation in the implementation of Belt and Road Initiative, and deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
Cospedal spoke highly of the Belt and Road Initiative. She said Spain thinks positively of China's important role in maintaining world peace and regional stability.
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