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06 April 2018, 10:51

Lukashenko: China has played decisive role in strengthening Belarus' defense capacity

MINSK, 6 April (BelTA) – China has played a decisive role in strengthening Belarus' defense capacity, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on 6 April, BelTA informs.

“You have played a decisive role in strengthening Belarus' defense capacity. You helped us develop an advanced space-based unit, sent a cutting-edge satellite on orbit. We have developed, together with you, the most advanced flight management center in Belarus. You have helped us develop the latest missile armament for the Belarusian army. I believe that we have developed more advanced samples of missile munitions that will be of interest for your army. I am grateful to you for the gratuitous assistance you provide to our army,” the head of state said.

Alexander Lukashenko stressed that Belarus will pay back. “You should know it. The Chinese leadership should know it,” he said.

“You lent us your shoulder at the most difficult time for us, when the West imposed sanctions against Belarus. We will remember this. You have reliable friends here,” the head of state added.

Alexander Lukashenko noted that he is glad to hold this meeting. “We have a lot to talk over. First of all, I want to congratulate you on the successful completion of all political campaigns in China and note the fact of political and social stability in the country,” the head of state said.

The Belarusian president asked Wei Fenghe once again to convey the warmest wishes and congratulations to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Addressing the Chinese defense minister, Alexander Lukashenko also congratulated Wei Fenghe on his appointment to a high post in the Government of China and also as head of one of the world's most powerful armies.

“I would like to thank the Chinese leadership for the economic and financial assistance you have been providing to Belarus. Special thanks to you for the military and technical cooperation established between our countries,” the Belarusian leader said.

While in Belarus, Wei Fenghe is also set to hold talks with Defense Minister Andrei Ravkov. The defense ministers will lay a wreath at the Victory Monument and visit the central control unit of the Air Defense Forces of Belarus.

The Chinese guest is also set to visit the 5th separate brigade of special designation, the Stalin's Line Memorial and the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War.

In 2013-2017 representatives of the Belarusian Defense Ministry visited China seven times while delegations of the Chinese Defense Ministry paid 11 visits to Belarus. The two countries hold regular joint army training.

Since 2000 a total of 277 Chinese servicemen have got diplomas of the Belarusian Military Academy. Some 77 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Belarus received education in the institutions of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

According to the information provided prior to the meeting, the promising areas of military cooperation between the two countries include the training of Chinese servicemen in Belarus and Belarusian servicemen in China, holding joint exercises and training. Apart from that, China has repeatedly provided free military assistance to Belarus. In October 2017 an agreement was signed on such assistance to the amount of $4.5 million.

Belarus and China have five international agreements in the military and technical sector. The bilateral military and technical cooperation is coordinated by the Belarusian-Chinese committee on cooperation in armament and military hardware.

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