Saturday, July 06, 2013

Bilateral Relations: China to enhance strategic trust with India

Source: IRNA

China will enhance strategic trust and boost practical cooperation with India to further promote bilateral ties, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told visiting Defence Minister A K Antony Friday.

In his meeting with Antony, Li said both China and India have the political willingness to appropriately address border issues through dialogues and consultations to jointly maintain peace, tranquillity and stability in border areas.

This will ˈhelp ensure the achievement of common development of the two countriesˈ, pti quoted Li as saying. Li said, he hopes the two militaries will increase exchanges and boost cooperation to play an active role in cementing the strategic partnership between the two countries.

China and India are both neighbours and partners, and the friendly neighbourhood as well as their joint push for common prosperity benefits not only the two nations, but also Asia and the world at large, he said.

He said the cooperation between China and India, both countries with populations exceeding a billion, will generate great opportunities and serve as a driving force for the development of the two countries, South Asia and the whole world.

Recalling Liˈs visit to India in May, Antony, who is on a four-day official visit to Beijing, said the premierˈs tour was a historic milestone in bilateral ties.

The leaders of the two countries reached important consensus on advancing bilateral ties, expanding cooperation and maintaining peace in border areas.

The Indian side will make joint efforts with China to further advance bilateral ties in a comprehensive way, Antony said.

Meanwhile, seeking to maintain peace and stability on the Line of Actual Control in the backdrop of the PLA incursion in Ladakh, India and China today agreed that ˈstrategic communicationˈ is required for building mutual trust even as they agreed to resume joint-army exercises.

During the delegation-level talks between Defence Minister A K Antony and his Chinese counterpart Gen Chang Wanquan in Beijing, the two sides agreed that they will make joint efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity on the borders and take measures to strengthen communication and coordination at various levels between the border guarding forces.

On the issue of the Chinese incursion into Depsang Valley in April, Antony, the first Indian Defence Minister to visit China in seven years, said, ˈwhen we are discussing for a long time we will discuss everything. Outcome is very important. In discussions, everything will be discussed. But the outcome is very positive.ˈ

Asked whether he took up the hostile comments made by a Major General of the Peopleˈs Liberation Army (PLA) Luo Yuan, Antony said, ˈMy discussions were with official people. Very detailed delegation level dialogue with the Defence Minister, and with the Premier also. The message is very clear.ˈ

The General had yesterday accused India of occupying 90,000 sq km of territory and cautioned New Delhi of not to ˈprovokeˈ China by increasing the military deployment at the border to ˈstart new troubleˈ.

In the Defence Minister-level meetings, both sides discussed a number of issues relating to bilateral defence relations, exchanges and interactions between the Ministries of Defence and armed forces of both countries and the regional and international security situation.

In the meeting, ˈit was acknowledged that the border issue is a remanant of history which both sides are making efforts to resolve and it was agreed that the Special Representatives mechanism should continue to work towards a solution.ˈ

The measures discussed for practical cooperation included third joint India-China Army-to-Army exercise to be held in china in October.

ˈBoth sides have also agreed that the Navies and Air Forces of both countries will also undertake enhanced professional exchanges,ˈ the Defence Ministry said.

Armies of India and China held their first exercises in 2007 at Belguam in Karnataka with plans to hold such events annually.

Similar exercises were held in 2008 at Chinaˈs Kunming city.

The drills were later disrupted over Chinaˈs new policy of granting visas on piece of paper to residents of Jammu and Kashmir even denied visas to a top General Northern Command after which India called off military contacts.