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Volume 87: debated on Tuesday 26 November 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what consultations he has had with the Chinese defence authorities with a view to promoting better understanding and co-operation between China and the Western European Union countries.

My right hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces visited China in 1984 and over the last two years there has been a number of reciprocal visits between British service chiefs of staff and their Chinese opposite numbers. Contacts have also taken place at lower levels and we are continuing to encourage a closer dialogue with China on a wide range of defence issues.