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Border agreement focus of defence minister’s China trip
July 4, 2013, 5:57 am

The two sides have set the bilateral trade target to $100 billion by 2015 [Xinhua Images]

The recent exchange of high-level visits have pointed to a renewed sense of urgency to solving the border dispute [Xinhua]

China and India will look to step up talks on the new Border Defence Cooperation Agreement.

India’s Defence Minister A K Antony will leave today on a four-day official visit to China – the first by an Indian defence minister to Beijing since 2006.

China is ready to “break new ground” with India on the historical border talks, asserted China’s Special Representative Yang Jiechi last week in Beijing.

The recent exchange of high-level visits and statements from Chinese leaders have pointed to a renewed sense of urgency to resolve the long-standing historical border dispute between the two Asian giants.

The Indian defence minister will hold delegation-level talks with his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan, according to the Indian government.

“Both ministers are expected to discuss a number of issues, including those related to maintenance of peace and tranquillity on the border, exchanges and interactions between the armed forces of both sides, and matters relating to regional and global security,” said a press release by India’s government.

India’s National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon who was in Beijing last week for the 16th round of border talks has described this as “a moment of strategic opportunity for this relationship”.

Antony will be accompanied by personnel from the defence ministry and the armed forces.

The two sides have also been discussing the first joint military exercises in five years, scheduled to be held in China later this year.

China is India’s second largest trading partner and the nations have set a trade target of $100 billion by 2015.

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said earlier this year that China and India together accounted for 45 per cent of world growth in purchasing power parity in 2012.

With Inputs from Agencies 

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