MINSK, August 17. /TASS/. Military cooperation between Belarus and China is not intended to target any third countries, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu at a bilateral meeting on Thursday.
"Our entire cooperation, and this is very important, will not in any way be aimed against third countries. We don’t need that. We need to protect our countries and our peoples," the BelTA news agency quoted the Belarusian leader as saying.
The world is far from stable today, Lukashenko emphasized. "The world is facing major turbulence, and we have to be strong. Because it so happens that force always engenders respect. And our policies rely on a strong economy and powerful diplomacy," he said as he expressed gratitude to China for its support in the areas of military-technical and defense cooperation. "Here, we primarily rely on our friends, first of all the Russian Federation and China," Lukashenko maintained.
According to the Belarusian president, Li’s mission to Minsk marks the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) general’s first-ever visit to Belarus. "Hopefully, it won’t be the last, as it is a matter of much importance for our Belarus," he said.
Chinese Minister of National Defense, State Councilor and PLA General Li Shangfu is paying a three-day visit to Belarus to discuss pressing issues concerning bilateral military cooperation. The military ties between the two countries are based on an agreement signed by the Belarusian and Chinese defense ministries in May 2010.