India, China armies to resume joint drill

Ending their hiatus in defence cooperation, India and China Monday agreed to resume joint military exercises and expand exchanges to include armies, navies and air forces of the two countries.
This was decided at the fifth Annual Defence Dialogue (ADD) held here Monday when an Indian tri services delegation headed by defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma held talks with Chinese delegation headed by deputy chairman of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Lt. Gen. Qi Jianguo.
Significant aspect of the two-day talks was that the decision by the forces to resume joint military exchanges which were stalled in 2009 after two rounds of anti-terrorism drills due to differences over visa issues.
The two sides agreed upon a plan of bilateral military exchanges for 2013, including their next joint military exercise, a press release issued by the Indian embassy here after the talks said.
Both militaries discussed bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest, including their assessments of the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region and in the India-China border areas, it said.
Also, the two sides agreed to expand bilateral exchanges covering the armies, navies and air forces of the two countries. It would facilitate separate talks between the three wings.
“They agreed to advance mutual strategic trust and enhance mutually beneficial practical cooperation,” the release said.
Both sides reviewed ongoing measures to ensure peace and tranquillity on the Line of Actual Control “since this is a strategic understanding between the two governments”, it said, adding that talks were in a friendly and cooperative atmosphere and a forward-looking manner.
This is the first ADD meeting being held after the leadership change in China.
Mr Xi Jinping, who was elected as the general secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) has taken over as the new military Chief and the Chinese military command has also undergone a number of changes.
In the talks, China on its part evinced keen interest to deepen defence ties with India. Xu Qiliang, vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, called for enhancement of mutual trust. — PTI

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