Wuhan: Foreign Secretary Vijay K. Gokhale on Saturday said that the Governments of India and China have decided to issue a strategic guidance to their respective militaries to enhance both trust and understanding.
Briefing media here, Gokhale said, “The two leaders underscored the importance to maintain peace and tranquillity in the India-China border region. Therefore, the two leaders (Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping) have decided that they would issue a strategic guidance to the respective militaries of both countries, to strengthen communication, to build trust and understanding, to implement various confidence-building measures and to strengthen existing institutional mechanism to prevent and manage situations in the border areas.”
Responding to a question from ANI on whether the militaries would be asked to refrain from confrontations, Gokhale clarified that India and China stressed on the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border region.
“The strategic guidance will strengthen communication between the Indian and Chinese militaries, which will help to build trust and understanding. Also, a number of confidence-building measures already agreed upon by the two sides will be implemented.
The information- sharing arrangements will be improved to prevent and manage situations around the border. There is a commitment on both sides to suggest that the two militaries need to ensure existing confidence-building measures in place and existing institutions and mechanisms are utilised more effectively.”
On the issue of the India-China Boundary Question, Gokhale said that Prime Minister Modi and President Xi endorsed the work of the Special Representative and their efforts to find a fair, reasonable and mutual settlement to maintain peace and tranquillity.
Emphasising on strategic communication, Gokhale added, “The agreement (between India and China) of greatest strategic communication at the leadership level and at the government level allows for a free and frank discussion on all matters of interest.”
Gokhale underlined that both countries shared converging interests and would use strategic communication to work together. “The two leaders have maturity and wisdom to handle all differences through peaceful discussion. Both India and China respect each other sensitivities, aspirations and concerns,” he added.
On the relationship between New Delhi and Beijing, Gokhale further said, “The two leaders agreed that China and India are major powers of strategic and decisional authority. Both agreed for a stable and peaceful relationship. Such a relationship will be a positive factor for stability amidst the global uncertainty.”
Gokhale also highlighted the increase in bilateral trade between India and China, saying that the two countries would continue to cooperate. The India-China bilateral trade reached a historic high of USD 84.44 billion last year. Prime Minister Modi completes his two-day visit to China today after participating in an ‘informal’ summit with President Xi.