India, China to soon have hotlines between military headquarters

Last Updated: Mon, Jul 08, 2013 15:20 hrs

New Delhi: India and China will soon have a hotline between their service headquarters for avoiding and handling situations such as a possible border flare-up.

Setting up of a hotline between officers at the level of Director General of Military Operations ( DGMO) has been a long-standing proposal by India to China for having peace and tranquillity at the border.

The two sides are in agreement over the issue now after several high-level meetings between them during which the issue has been discussed prominently, sources said here.

The Chinese side is soon expected to nominate an official in its military headquarters who would have the hotline with his Indian counterpart, they said.

During the recent defence minister-level talks between the two sides also, India and China agreed on the need for having "strategic communication" for building mutual trust between the two sides.

In the recent times, there have been several high-level visits and exchanges between the two countries including the visit of Chinese premier to India and recent visit by defence minister A K Antony and NSA Shivshankar Menon to that country.

In the past, the two sides have also discussed proposals to set up hotlines between India's Northern and Eastern Army Commanders with their Chinese counterparts but not much progress has been made in that direction so far.

At present, three hotlines exist between the armies of the two countries at Spamgur Gap, Nathula and Bumla — the three locations where the two sides meet for Border Personnel Meetings.

Such a hotline is expected to help in early resolution of situations like the one which happened in Depsang Valley in Ladakh on April 15 when Chinese troops intruded 19 km into Indian territory crossing the Line of Actual Control.

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