SINGAPORE, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission, suggested on Friday that Australia should take a fair and objective stance on the South China Sea issue.
Sun held a meeting with Mark Binskin, chief of the Australian Defence Force, prior to the opening of the Shangri-La Dialogue, which is running from Friday to Sunday.
"China has maintained a consistent and clear policy on the South China Sea issue and we wish the Australian side to take a fair and objective stance," said the Chinese admiral.
He told the Australian defense chief that the two countries have seen a closer military relationship over the past several years.
"There have been more high-level reciprocal visits, joint training courses and in-depth institutional communication," said the Chinese official.
Sun hailed Australia's efforts in the search of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The missing Boeing 777 jet was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 passengers and crew on board.
Binskin, during the meeting, said the two countries have seen a smooth and pragmatic military cooperation recently, as a number of joint military drills have been successfully conducted.
The Australian official expressed wishes to boost dialogue and communication between the two sides, saying he is looking forward to his visit to China later this year.
The 15th Shangri-La Dialogue, an Asia-Pacific defense and security summit, kicks off here on Friday.
Sun, on the sidelines of the dialogue, will meet with defense ministers, military chiefs and high-ranking defense officials from over 10 countries.