India, China to resume military drills
India and China announced yesterday they would resume joint military exercises after a four-year gap, a move designed to build trust in the often prickly relationship between the two nuclear-powered neighbours.
After Indian Defence Minister AK Antony hosted talks with his Chinese counterpart Liang Guanglie, the pair told reporters they had debated some of the main sources of friction between the two sides and agreed a series of measures.
"We have decided that [to restart military exercises]," Antony said. "We covered a lot about the situation in the South Asia, Asia-Pacific region and we have covered a lot of issues."
"We had a very frank and heart-to-heart discussion on all the issues... including in the border areas," he added.
Liang, for his part, said, “We have reached a consensus on high-level visits and exchange of personnel, maritime security... and cooperation between the two navies".
China's buildup of military infrastructure along the frontier has become a major source of concern for India, which increasingly sees Beijing as a longer-term threat to its security than traditional rival Pakistan.
But Liang, the first Chinese defence minister to visit India in eight years, confirmed that there was now a mutual desire to move forward. He is now on a four-day official visit to this country.
At the 90-minute delegation-level meeting between Antony and Liang, it was agreed by the two sides to conduct the next round of joint military exercises at the earliest, said the statement without specifying the dates.
The joint exercises were put on hold since the year 2010, reports our New Delhi correspondent.