December 12, 2015

China - Australia Defence Relations Closer - Meetings

Chief of the General Staff, PLA, General Fang Fenghui and Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne at meeting.

Visit to Australia by China’s General Fang Fenghui

2 December 2015 | AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE Media Release

Chief of the General Staff Department ofChina’s People’s Liberation Army General Fang Fenghui , visited Australia this week to conduct the Defence Strategic Dialogue, co-hosted for Australia by the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC, and the Secretary of the Department of Defence, Mr Dennis Richardson AO.
This year marks the 18th year of the annual Dialogue, demonstrating that the bilateral defence relationship is robust, and an important aspect of the broader relationship.
The annual dialogue offers the leadership of the Australian Defence Organisation and China’s Peoples’ Liberation Army the opportunity to engage in open and frank discussion on issues of common concern and to discuss a forward program of bilateral defence engagement activities.
While visiting Canberra, General Fang also met with the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, to discuss the bilateral defence relationship.
General Fang also visited Headquarters Joint Operations Command where he met with Commander Joint Operations, Vice Admiral David Johnston AM, RAN, and toured the facility. General Fang visited Australia from 30 November to 1 December.

Stephen McDonell and staff for Australian government owned ABC Online report, December 4, 2014,
 China and Australia set to bolster military links following high-level talks in Beijing

Canberra and Beijing have agreed on an unspecified program of enhanced military cooperation for next year, including exchanges, training and service-to-service engagement.

Australian officials confirmed new avenues to foster defence links would go ahead but did not provide further details.

Chief of Defence Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin was at the annual country-to-country military talks in the Chinese capital when the announcement was made.

In a written statement he said Australia was "committed to working with China" and that there was "a growing maturity" in the defence engagement between Australia and its largest trading partner.

"We discussed the forward program of engagement between the Department of Defence and the People's Liberation Army in 2015, including strategic dialogue, service engagement, practical cooperation activities, personnel exchanges and training and education opportunities," he said.

"Our ability to discuss issues in an open and transparent way is a sign of the growing maturity in our defence engagement. We are committed to working with China to ensure a strong, stable and prosperous region."

China's state-run wire service Xinhua said the pledge was the result of a meeting between vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, Fan Changlong, Air Chief Marshal Binskin and Australian secretary of defence Dennis Richardson, who were visiting China for the annual defence strategic dialogue.

Mr Fan reportedly said the agreement marked "a new high of mutual political trust between our countries".

"Military ties forge an important part of bilateral ties," he said. 

The two countries have worked closely in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as well as in peacekeeping, anti-terrorism, joint exercises and education exchanges, Xinhau reported Mr Fan as saying, adding he vowed to further promote military cooperation.” 


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