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India and China to deepen defence ties, maintain peace at border

November 16, 2015 23:56 IST

India and China on Monday decided to deepen bilateral defence ties and maintain peace and tranquillity at the Line of Actual Control besides strengthening cooperation against terror, including at the international level.

The decisions came after the meeting between a visiting 26-member delegation led by General Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of China's powerful Central Military Commission and the Indian side, which was headed by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, at the South Block in New Delhi.

This is the highest-level Chinese defence delegation to visit India in recent years.

Both Parrikar and Gen Fan condemned the recent terror strike in Paris and agreed to strengthen cooperation to together fight the menace of terrorism, including at the international level, a late night statement by the defence ministry in New Delhi said.

Parrikar also offered to share India's expertise in fighting terrorism by way of joint exercises, among other initiatives.

"The visit signifies the enhanced defence exchanges between India and China. During the meeting with the defence minister, the two sides agreed to implement the consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping to ensure peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas," the statement said.

Gen Fan and Parrikar were of the view that peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas is the cornerstone for smooth development of bilateral relations in diverse areas.

"They felt that the two armed forces shoulder important responsibilities for maintenance of peace and tranquillity and agreed to further enhance communications and exchanges between the two armed forces," it said.

The two sides welcomed the operationalisation of additional border personnel meeting points.

They reviewed the ongoing exchanges and expressed satisfaction at the recently-held bilateral military exercise, 'Hand-in-Hand'.

Meanwhile, taking note of the intensification of defence exchanges, the Indian side welcomed the proposal for the visit of Commander of Lanzhou Military region to India early next year.

Gen Fan also extended an invitation to Parrikar to visit China, which he accepted. The dates will be decided through diplomatic channels.

Gen Fan will be calling on Prime Minister Modi on Tuesday before leaving India at the conclusion of his visit.

Incidentally, the visit by the Chinese delegation comes at a time when Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag is in Japan on an official trip.

Gen Suhag's visit follows seven months after Parrikar went to Japan and agreed to deepen military cooperation.

Last month, Japan took part in the Malabar naval exercise along with India and the US.

While the ships of the three countries took part in the naval exercise, an Indian Army contingent was holding an exercise with their Chinese counterparts in the neighbouring country's Kunming area.

Gen Fan is accompanied by Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of general staff of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), and Zhu Fuxi, political commissar of the PLA Chengdu Military Area Command (MAC).

The Chinese team arrived here yesterday following their visit to Pakistan where they met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif.

Gen. Fan had said in Islamabad that mutually-supportive cooperation in the field of defence is a critical factor in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

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