DUSHANBE, March 31. /ITAR-TASS/. China gave high marks to the level of good-neighborly relations with Tajikistan as well as cooperation of the two countries in the fight against terrorism and extremism, pledging assistance in the strengthening of Tajikistan’s defense capacity, the press service of Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon quoted the Chinese defence minister as saying at talks on Monday.
“China is satisfied with the level of bilateral cooperation in all spheres, including military and military-technical and guarantees assistance to Tajikistan in the strengthening of its defense capacity,” Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan said. He said China would supply military uniforms and help in the training of military personnel, adding that this would involve “hundreds of millions of dollars”.
The Chinese side also gave high marks to Tajikistan’s presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which brings together China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
President Emomali Rakhmon, for his part, referred to China as “a good neighbor, a devoted friend and trustworthy partner”. The Tajik leader praised cooperation of the two countries in the fight against drug expansion and other global challenges and threats.
The sides also exchanged opinions on regional security against the background of the planned for this year withdrawal of the bulk of NATO forces from Afghanistan.
Within the framework of his three-day official visit, Chang Wanquan will take part in a regular defence ministerial session of the SCO, due in the Tajik city of Khudzhand on April 1. The Russian delegation to the session will be led by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.