Nations strengthen military cooperation

China Daily
Yao Jianing

China and Rwanda hold discussions on reinforcing defense ties between them

A military delegation from China led by Major General Zhang Yingli was in Rwanda last week to hold discussions with Rwandan counterparts on improvement of exchange and cooperation between the two countries' respective ministries of defense.

The bilateral discussions on defense issues took place at the Rwandan Defence Ministry's headquarters in Kigali. General James Kabarebe, Rwanda's minister of defense, and General Patrick Nyamvumba, chief of the defense staff, led the Rwandan delegation.

Kabarebe applauded the good relations between Rwanda and China, and the two sides agreed to strengthen their excellent military cooperation. Currently, the two countries have military cooperation in training and logistics. A number of Rwandan officers in various military fields have trained in China.

China has increased its participation in multinational peacekeeping and has sent troops and civilian personnel on United Nations peacekeeping missions in Africa. Zhang commended Rwanda's participation in promoting peace and security in Africa through peacekeeping engagements. "This is clearly a common interest for China and Rwanda alike", Zhang said.

With more than 4,000 troops and over 400 peacekeeping police officers, Rwanda is the sixth-highest contributor of troops and police to the UN efforts, the third-highest contributor of female police officers and the second-highest African contributor of female police officers. For the UN mission in South Sudan, Rwanda has more than 3,000 troops and police officers. The Rwandan peacekeepers are appreciated for their professionalism and high level of commitment to their work.

China's participation in global security has been on the increase since 2015, when President Xi Jinping announced China's commitment of 8,000 troops to the UN peacekeeping standby force, a contribution of $100 million to the African Union's standby force and an additional financial commitment of $1 billion to establish the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund. China and Rwanda are therefore key players in peacekeeping operations aimed at improving peace and security on the African continent.

The setting up of China's first overseas military base in Africa, in Djibouti, will enable quick troop and logistical deployment whenever there is need to contribute troops to peacekeeping operations in Africa.

In addition, the Africa military base enables China to easily take part in joint military exercises with friendly countries on the continent and to combat terrorism.

The People's Liberation Army is the largest military force in the world. China is said to be developing a modern "blue water" Navy - a maritime force operating in open seas around the world - and this is a step up in China's contribution to global peace and the fight against terrorism. In terms of air defense systems, China has already tested the prototype of hypersonics and is expected to be the first country in the world to have an operational hypersonic missile by 2020.

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