Agreement on missiles extended by 10 years

2020-12-17 12:00:20

China's intercontinental ballistic missiles are displayed during a military parade in September 2017. These missiles are designated DF-31AG. [Photo/Xinhua] China and Russia have extended an agreement to notify each other of launches of ballistic missiles and carrier rockets by 10 years, the Ministry of National Defense said. State Councilor and Minister of National Defense General Wei Fenghe and Russian counterpart General Sergei Shoigu signed the extension during a video conference on Tuesday with approval from the heads of the two countries. The extension came into effect on its signing, the ministry said. The two militaries are willing to enhance pragmatic cooperation and enrich bilateral ties, the ministry said. The agreement was first signed on Oct 13,2009 and was about to expire this month. "The agreement demonstrates the uniqueness and high quality of the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era between the two countries," it said. "It also exhibits the two nations' determination to jointly maintain global strategic stability, and injects positive energy into safeguarding the global arms control system and global peace and security." The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the extension showcases "the trusting nature of Russian-Chinese relations and helps maintain global security and stability". "In the years the agreement has been active, it has proved to be efficient, facilitating further strengthening of mutual trust and ensuring that the relations between the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of China have become more open," it said, adding the agreement's goal was to establish a communication mechanism to avoid misunderstandings and unexpected incidents. Information regarding the launch of ballistic missiles has long been considered a sensitive issue that is rarely disclosed to other countries, according to the Arms Control Association, a United States-based nonpartisan, nonprofit organization for promoting public understanding of arms control policy. Pavel Podvig, a senior research fellow at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, told the association that the two military powers agreeing on mutual notification was a welcome sign as it enhances transparency between the two countries.