Moscow, Aug 15 (EFE).- China will increase its military cooperation with Iran and Belarus, as well as members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, including Russia, China’s defense minister Li Shangfu said Tuesday.
“We will continue to strengthen the mechanism of security cooperation within the SCO, actively deepen defense collaboration with the organization’s newest member Iran, as well as Belarus, which will soon become a SCO member,” Li said during his speech at the 11th International Security Conference in Moscow.
Li repeated China’s stance that the country supports a political-diplomatic resolution to conflicts, including the one in Ukraine.
“We remain committed to contributing to peace talks and building a broader international consensus to resolve conflicts, whether in Afghanistan, Syria, the Korean peninsula, in Ukraine or the Iranian nuclear problem,” he added, according to the state-run Russian Tass agency.
The SCO, created in June 2001, currently comprises Russia, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
After the Moscow conference, Li will travel to Belarus, where he will hold talks with the country’s and the army’s leaders, and visit military units, according to Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian.
Li, appointed defense minister in March, was sanctioned in 2018 by the United States on charges of buying weaponry from Russia’s state-owned Rosoboronexport.
Russia and China agreed in March to strengthen their military cooperation in order to increase mutual trust between their Armed Forces, the two countries said in a joint statement following a meeting in the Kremlin between Russian and Chinese presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. EFE