China visit: Resuming military ties top on Def Secy's agenda

Last Updated: Sun, Jan 13, 2013 09:14 hrs

New Delhi: Resumption of military exercises between the armies of India and China will be high on agenda during the annual defence dialogue starting between the two countries in Beijing tomorrow.

Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma is heading a tri-services delegation to China for two-day talks beginning tomorrow in Beijing as part of the 5th Annual Defence Dialogue between the two sides, Ministry officials said here.

During the visit of Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie to India in September last year, the two sides had agreed to resume their bilateral military exercises in 2013 and increase defence exchanges.

Defence Minister A K Antony had then accepted an invitation from Liang to visit Beijing next year.

Military exercises between the two countries had started in 2007 but were put on hold in 2010 after a series of hiccups in the defence ties between the two sides.

The first exercise was held in Kunming, China in 2007 and the second in Belgaum, India in 2008. The third edition was to have been held in China in 2010 but got stalled.

After the denial of visa to the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen B S Jaswal by the Chinese in 2010, New Delhi had kept on hold all bilateral defence exchanges with Beijing.

The defence exchanges were revived in the recent times but there have been still some hiccups as China has been refusing to grant visas to armed forces officers from Arunachal Pradesh.

The two countries have also operationalised mechanisms to prevent any face-off between their armed forces along the over 4,000-km long Line of Actual Control (LAC) apart from coordinating in high seas in the Gulf of Aden to tackle piracy.

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