The Mozambican and Chinese governments have signed an agreement on military co-operation under which China pledges to provide the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) with technical military assistance, including training and the supply of equipment and spare parts, valued at 80 million yuan (about 11.5 million US dollars).

The agreement was signed here Monday by efence Minister Salvador M’tumuke and Chinese Ambassador to Mozambique Su Jian.

Speaking to the media after the signing ceremony, M’tumuke explained that the agreement “deals with the construction and equipment of the Protection Regiment, and strengthens the links of friendship and brotherhood between the armed forces of our countries”.

He added that the agreement was the result of the visit made by President Filipe Nyusi to China earlier this year.

Su said the agreement fits into the conception defined by the Chinese government as an integral part of its global co-operation strategy, which includes Chinese support for enhancing Mozambique’s capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Su added that military co-operation between the two countries dated back to Mozambique’s national liberation struggle, when China provided training and other assistance for the guerrillas of the liberation movement, Frelimo, now Mozambique’s ruling political party.

Military co-operation, said the ambassador, “is one of the most fruitful of all our areas of co-operation, since its establishment 41 years ago”.

The agreement “demonstrates reciprocal political trust”, he added. “It is intended to strengthen the military capacity of the Mozambican Armed Forces to guarantee national sovereignty, and to strengthen its mandate in peace keeping missions,” he said.