|A Russian Air Force Su-35 Flanker Fighter (File Photo)|
The commander of the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has signaled China's intention to continue the development of full-fledged cooperation with Russia's Aerospace Defense Forces. Russian military analyst Alexander Khrolenko says the signal of intent is the first step on the road to creating a common air defense in the Eurasian space.
Speaking to reporters at the opening ceremony of the Aviadarts-2017 international army games in Changchun, China, PLAAF commander Maj. Gen. Ma Xiaotian said that Beijing was looking to develop full-fledged cooperation with the Russian air force.
Ma emphasized that China and Russia are "friendly neighbors" which "play an important role in the global arena," adding that "in today's complex and volatile situation in the structure of international relations, both countries have common interests and strategic needs." The Chinese air force is looking to enhance cooperation in a number of areas, from joint tactical flight exercises to cooperation in the fields of missile defense and logistics, according to the officer.
Earlier, Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) commander Col-Gen Viktor Bondarev praised the state of Russian-Chinese air force cooperation, pointing out that relations between the two countries' air forces were "excellent."
"The Chinese side knows our planes and helicopters, and buys a great deal. I think that in the field of [military] aviation, we have found a balance and continue to work to our mutual benefit in this direction," Bondarev said.
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