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Antony calls for closer military ties with China

July 06, 2013 11:41 IST

Calling for closer military ties between India and China, Defence Minister A K Antony on Saturday said that it would be easy to maintain peace along the borders if both the forces have trust, mutual respect and confidence.

"If the military leadership on both sides from the top to the ground formations can maintain both trust and mutual respect, and confidence, then it is easy to maintain peace an tranquility at the border areas," Antony told Political Commissar of National Defence University General Liu Yazhou.

Antony visited the academy of People's Liberation Army in Beijing on Saturday, the second day of his official visit.

During the meeting, the defence minister and Liu agreed to enhance military exchanges between the two countries.

Antony on Friday held wide-ranging discussions with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Defence Minister Gen Cheng Wanquan on a host of issues including maintaining peace and tranquility at the borders. In his interaction with Liu, Antony recalled his meeting with Premier Li and Gen Cheng.

"India and China are close neighbours. Our relations are expanding in many areas," he said, adding he had detailed discussions with the Chinese leadership on bilateral ties.

"Both sides are and have clear consensus that we must maintain peace tranquility and stability at our borders. In that endeavour military-to-military cooperation is an important aspect," he said.

Accompanied by a high-powered delegation consisting of top officials from the Indian Army, navy and air force, Antony went round the sprawling 15,000 sq metre varsity campus evincing keen interest in China's defence forces' training programmes for the officers of all its three forces.

Officials said Antony had expressed interest to visit the top military academy to study the Chinese pattern as India has recently launched its National Defence University in New Delhi which was expected to be ready in the next few years.

Indian officials said that efforts are on currently to evolve combined training programmes for all the forces.

K J M Varma in Beijing
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