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.
and Australia set to bolster military links following high-level talks in
Canberra and Beijing
have agreed on an unspecified program of enhanced military cooperation for next
year, including exchanges, training and service-to-service engagement.
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
forge an important part of bilateral ties," he said.
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.”