China defence minister to visit Russia, Belarus Aug 14-19

BEIJING (Reuters): China’s defence minister Li Shangfu will visit Russia and Belarus from Aug. 14-19, the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

While in Russia, Li will attend an international security meeting and make a speech there, according to the statement. He will also meet with leaders from Russia’s national defence department.

During his visit to Belarus, he will meet with the Belarus’ head of state and military. Li will also visit military departments in Belarus.

China and Russia has strengthened military ties, conducting joint patrols and military exercises.

Li had met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in April, vowing to strengthen military cooperation. In July, Li met with the head of Russia’s navy in Beijing.