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China, India begin Annual Defence Dialogue in Delhi
February 24, 2014, 5:43 am

China-India joint military exercises will be held in India this year after Beijing hosted them in 2013 [Xinhua]

China-India joint military exercises will be held in India this year. Beijing hosted them in 2013 [Xinhua]

Top defence officials from China and India will meet today in the Indian capital for the annual Defence Dialogue.

Amid indications of a new deepening of ties between the neighbours, Deputy Chief of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Wang Guanzhong will meet Indian Defence Secretary R K Mathur to discuss defence exchanges, training and joint military exercises.

The establishment of a hotline between the headquarters of the countries’ armed forces which was announced earlier would also be discussed on Monday. The two countries already have hotlines between the two prime ministers Offices. A military hotline would be a direct communication link between the armies of the two neighbours.

India and China are set to hold a number of high-level dialogues this year on a host of issues, including defence, economic and strategic matters.

The two countries held third round of military exercises last year after a gap of five years. This year’s exercises are due to be held in India.

India and China have appointed Special Representatives, who have been engaged in addressing the long running historical boundary issue for over eight years

Beijing has said border talks held earlier this month with India have yielded “initial results”.

The annual Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) between China and Indian will be held in New Delhi on March 18-19.

Bilateral trade reached a record $ 74 billion in 2011, when China became India’s largest trading partner. However, two-way trade declined last year by 1.5 per cent on account of a sharp decline in Indian exports, new figures released last month show.

The SED which discuses economic and trade relations between the two countries would cover issues like enhancing cooperation in important sectors such as infrastructure and high-technology, handling of the present global economic situation, cooperation in international monetary and financial systems, global commodity markets, sustainable development and climate change.

India’s External Affairs Ministry said earlier this month that the two BRICS members will coordinate positions as the old order of global financial and strategic power gives way.

“In essence the thrust was that India and China need to work together on a host of international issues of common interest where rules of a global nature are being rewritten. These include rules related to trade, climate change and finance,” said the spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

The two countries are also finalising dates for the annual Strategic Dialogue, an informal talks mechanism that covered a vast areas of mutual interest to be held between top officials of the foreign ministries of both the countries.


TBP and Agencies