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Chiefs of PLA & Indian Army meet in Beijing
July 3, 2014, 7:59 am

 Indian army chief Gen. Bikram Singh addresses a press conference in New Delhi, India, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 [AP]

File photo of Indian army chief Gen. Bikram Singh addressing a press conference in New Delhi, India, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 [AP]

In a sign of growing ties between the two BRICS members, Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh held talks with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Chief of General Staff Fang Fenghui in Beijing on Thursday.

The Indian Army Chief is on a four-day official visit to China, the first in nine years.

Relations between the two armies, the regional security situation besides the issues of common concern and exchanges will come up for discussion between Singh and the Chinese military officials, China’s Defence Ministry was quoted by Indian agencies.

The two neighbours are trying to break a decades-old stalemate on overlapping claims to long remote stretches of the Himalayas.

Significantly, Singh is also scheduled to meet General Fan Changlong, Vice Chairman of China’s Military Commission, the all powerful body headed by President Xi Jinping which controls all wings of China’s armed forces.

Singh will also meet China’s Vice President Li Yuanchao.

The Indian Army Chief will also address cadets of the National Defence University in Beijing on Friday and later travel to Shanghai on July 5 where he would visit a Chinese naval ship.

The PLA was quoted by Indian agency Press Trust of India as saying this visit is of “great significance” as it aims to strengthen high-level strategic communication and mutual trust between the two militaries.

China and India are also looking at setting up a hotline between top-ranking military officers in addition to existing brigade-level contacts.

Singh’s visit is part of important events in this year’s planned military exchanges under the ongoing ‘Sino – Indian Friendship Exchange Year’.

A landmark border agreement was signed in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People following a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang last year.


 TBP and Agencies

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