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Joint military exercise back on track
January 14, 2013, 5:34 pm

 Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (c), shakes hands with Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony. [AP]

Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (c), shakes hands with Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony (r). [AP]

India and China are set to hold their first joint military exercise in five years and also boost exchanges between their Armies, Navies and Air Forces.

This was decided at the Annual Defence Dialogue (ADD) held in Beijing today.

An Indian tri-services delegation headed by Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma held talks with the Chinese delegation headed by Deputy Chairman of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo.

This follows a recently concluded BRICS national security advisors meet held in New Delhi to boost security cooperation between the five member countries.

The Indian national security advisor Shivshankar Menon had described the BRICS bloc as growing out of the ambit of “just an economic idea”, after the meet.

Defence Secretary Sashi Kant Sharma and Chinese Deputy Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo have agreed “upon a plan of bilateral military exchanges for 2013 including their next joint military exercise.”

The India Ministry of Defence has put out a statement outlining the issues discussed.

This would essentially oversee resumption of joint military exercises between the two rising economic powers, following a gap of five years.

The first round was held in 2007 in Kunming, Yunnan and the second in 2008 in Belgaum, Karnataka.

Sharma also met General Xu Qiliang, Vice-Chairman of the China Central Military Commission.

General Xu has said that India-China “have enough wisdom and ability to handle their relationship and are able to pave a healthy and stable development path for it,” as quoted by Xinhua.

China, he said, “attaches great importance in developing military ties with India and hopes to increase mutual strategic trust, enhance friendly communication and deepen pragmatic cooperation in order to promote the strategic partnership for peace and prosperity and make a positive contribution to world and regional peace and stability.”

In a letter to the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, China’s leader and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Xi Jinping had said that China will, as it has been doing, pay great importance to developing relations with India.

With Inputs from Agencies