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China, India sign no aggression treaty

India and China on Friday took a historic step by committing themselves against launching military attacks on each other and agreed not to cross the line of actual control along their common border.

These decisions are part of a series of confidence building military measures agreed upon by the two countries at the end of 90-minute official talks between Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Chinese President Jiang Zemin.

The agreement was signed by External Affairs Minister I K Gujral and Chinese Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen in Deve Gowda and Jiang's presence at a simple ceremony in Hyderabad House.

Three other agreements were also signed on maintenance of an Indian consulate-general in Hong Kong after it passes into Chinese hands in June, co-operation in curbing drug trafficking and on maritime transport.

In his opening remarks, Deve Gowda described the confidence building measures agreement as a major step forward. He said it was built on the foundation of the 1993 agreement on maintenance of peace and tranquility on the border.

The two countries were also working on a fifth agreement on investment protection, but it could not be finalised.

The 12-article agreement on confidence building measures also stipulates that the two countries will reduce or limit their respective military forces within mutually agreed geographical zones along the LAC.

India and China also agreed to reduce the number of field army, border defence forces, paramilitary forces and any other mutually agreed category of armed force deployed.

The major categories of armaments to be reduced are: Combat tanks, infantry combat vehicles, guns including howitzers with 70 mm or bigger calibre, mortars with 120 mm or bigger calibre, surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles and any other weapon system.

The two sides will exchange data on the military forces and armaments to be reduced and to be kept within the agreed zones.

It was also agreed to avoid holding largescale military exercises involving more than one division (approximately 5,000 troops) in close proximity of the LAC, prior notification should be given to the other side.

The agreement provides that the sides will take adequate measures to prevent any air intrusions along the LAC.

It lays down that combat aircraft -- including fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, military trainers, armed helicopters and other armed aircraft -- would not fly within ten kilometers of the LAC.

In case, such flights are to be operated, advance information should be given.

The agreement stipulates that unarmed aircraft, surveyor aircraft and helicopters will be permitted to fly up to the LAC, but no military aircraft will be allowed to fly across the LAC except with prior permission.

The agreement will remain valid until either side decides to terminate it after giving six months notice in writing.


The text of the Treaty

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