India To End Freeze On High-Level Defence Exchanges With China

Sanya (China), Apr 13: After a pause, India is set to restore full defence cooperation with China, with a high-level military delegation expected to come here in June and an in-principle agreement reached for setting
india to end freeze on high level defence...
PTI April 13, 2011 20:54 IST

Sanya (China), Apr 13: After a pause, India is set to restore full defence cooperation with China, with a high-level military delegation expected to come here in June and an in-principle agreement reached for setting up a mechanism for consultations and coordination on border affairs.

The decisions were arrived at during a 50-minute meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Hu Jintao here where the Indian leader also voiced concern over the growing trade imbalance in favour of China, evoking an assurance that it would be addressed.

During the “very productive, warm and friendly” meeting, Singh and Hu launched the ‘Year of India-China Exchanges in 2011', National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon told reporters.

As part of the measure, there will be a series of visits including by an Indian military delegation to China besides exchange of visits by senior political leaders, holding of strategic economic dialogue, official consultations and people-to-people contacts, he said.

“It has been agreed that a multi-command Indian military delegation will visit China later this year,” Menon said.

Sources said the delegation could visit as early as June and is expected to be headed by a Corps Commander level officer of the rank of Lt General.

The decision to send a military delegation to China marks an end to the freeze on high-level defence exchanges by India after the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen B S Jaswal was denied a proper visa in July last year for travel to Beijing because he served in Jammu and Kashmir.

The two leaders asked their Special Representatives to continue working out a solution to the boundary issue.

So far, 13 rounds of talks have been held between the SRs on the issue while the next round is scheduled to be held in New Delhi.

Asked about when the 14th round could be held, Menon said there were no dates yet. PTI

 
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