Russia and China have pledged to strengthen their bilateral military and political ties as part of a strategic cooperation that challenges U.S. interests, especially to Washington's stance on Middle East allies Syria and Iran. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met Tuesday with Air Force General Xu Qiliang, deputy vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, and other regional military officials as part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in the eastern city of Qingdao. As increasingly powerful Russia and China build up their clout on the world stage, they sought a more united front against the U.S., which frequently challenged their rise. "Time changes everything," Shoigu said, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. "But, fortunately, it does not change our relations both personally between us and between our states, and the very close, friendly relations of the heads of our states serve as a guarantee of this." Read More..