India, China discuss new border defence pact
Posted on: 03:08 PM IST Mar 23, 2013
New Delhi: Indian and Chinese troops may stop tailing each other's patrols on the border. The two neighbouring countries are also expected to finalise a joint counter-terrorism exercise involving both armies.
A number of other confidence-building measures were also discussed during a meeting between the Defence Secretaries of the two countries. China has also proposed that the two sides not fire on each other no matter what the circumstances. These form part of a broad Chinese border cooperation agreement that India is assessing.
However, the Indian side gave no commitment, the sources said. India wants to study the proposal thoroughly and do due diligence before taking any decision. The Chinese side had discussed these proposals informally during the ADD also but India had then asked it to submit
these points in a formal manner at a later stage.
The Army-to-Army exercise would be held after a gap of around five years. The first one was held in 2007 in Kunming in China while the second edition was held in Belgaum in Karnataka in December 2008. The exercises were stopped after tensions between the two sides over denial of visa to the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen BS Jaswal in 2010 and issuing of stapled visa to residents of Jammu and Kashmir by China.
During the meeting, both sides agreed to finalise the plan of bilateral exchanges between the armed forces of India and China. It has been decided that exchanges will be conducted between the Armies, Navies and Air Forces on both sides, the Defence Ministry said in a release.
It was agreed that strengthening of exchanges between the armed forces should be carried out as a way of building mutual trust and confidence and consistent with the overall bilateral relationship between both countries, the release said.
The Chinese Lt Gen also called on Defence Minister AK Antony and conveyed that the new leadership in China attaches high priority to consolidate cooperative relations with India in all spheres. Antony is also planning to visit China by middle of the year after which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also expected to visit Beijing.
With Additional Inputs from PTI
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