New Delhi India and China held their sixth annual defence and security dialogue here Monday during which they agreed to continue to work towards maintaining peace and tranquility on their disputed border.
The dialogue was co-chaired by India’s Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur and Deputy Chief of General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army, Lt Gen Wang Guanzhong.
Both sides noted that the leadership of both countries has recognised maintenance of peace and tranquility on the border as an important guarantor for development and growth of the bilateral relationship and it was decided that both should continue to take suitable measures in this direction, an official statement said.
In this connection, it was, inter alia, decided that a senior level exchange between the Directorates General of Military Operations would be conducted in India in 2014, during which both sides would discuss practical measures for management of border issues.
Both sides also decided on a number of measures for exchanges and interactions between their armed forces in 2014.
Both also discussed issues concerning the security situation in South Asia, the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region. They also agreed that strengthening of strategic consultation and communication would facilitate sharing of perspectives and mutual understanding in the evolving regional security situation, said the statement.
With 2014 being designated as the ‘Year of Friendly Exchanges’, both sides agreed to continue to expand the exchanges between their armed forces so as to foster mutual trust and understanding.
They noted that the visits of Defence Minister A.K. Antony to China in 2013 and of his Chinese counterpart to India the year before had provided an impetus to the expansion of military exchanges. The proposed visit of the Chinese defence minister to India in 2014 was welcomed.
Following the successful conduct of the joint army exercise in China in 2013, both sides agreed to conduct the next joint exercise in India in 2014.
Other measures agreed upon include strengthening of maritime security cooperation between their navies; officer exchanges and professional interactions at various levels of all services and exchanges in the areas of peacekeeping, counter terrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, the statement said.
After the meeting, the Chinese delegation also called on Antony and Army chief, Gen. Bikram Singh, who is also the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee.