Defense ministers from China and Gabon met on Wednesday and presented a united front, stressing the importance of close military ties.

In a meeting with the visiting Gabonese Minister of State and Defence Ali Bongo, Chinese Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan said the two armed forces have always maintained friendly cooperation.

Over the past few years, there have been frequent high-level visits and exchanges between the two armed forces, said Cao, who is also vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission and a state councilor.

Cao said China would like to step up military cooperation with Gabon.

Bongo reiterated this by going on to state that he looked forward to working more with the Chinese army.

As Cao’s guest, Bongo started his China visit on Sunday.