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Top Indian security officials discuss military hotline during China visit
April 22, 2016, 5:31 am

Vice Chairman of China's Central Military Commission Fan Changlong (R) meets with Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar in Beijing, capital of China, April 18, 2016 [Xinhua]

Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Fan Changlong (R) meets with Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar in Beijing, capital of China, April 18, 2016 [Xinhua]

Security ties and border talks were in focus during this week’s interactions between Chinese and Indian Ministers and top officials this week.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday called on China and India to continue negotiations to seek a peaceful settlement of boundary issues.

Li met India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval in Beijing, who attended the 19th round of talks between Chinese and Indian special representatives on boundary issues on Wednesday.

Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar was also in China earlier week. Parrikar held talks with his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan on Monday.

“India attaches highest priority to its ties with China,” Parrikar said in Beijing.

The two BRICS members discussed expediting efforts to establish hotline between the two military headquarters and more confidence building measures like opening of more border points for interactions with troops on the grounds.

China and India agreed to establish a hotline linking army commanders on either side of their disputed border last year.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang agreed at a meeting in May to start annual visits between their militaries, expand exchanges between border commanders and start using a military hotline.

According to a Chinese Foreign Ministry press release on Thursday, both sides “agreed to adhere to negotiations to settle the boundary question. They will make efforts to reach a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the meetings show that mutual political trust between China and India have increased, and bilateral exchanges and cooperation are advancing.

China and India have been seeking a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution on the border issue through a special representative mechanism established in 2003.

Premier Li said this mechanism has “played a constructive role in deepening mutual trust and expanding common ground”.

Official relations between the world’s two fastest growing economies have come a long way since the two fought a brief border war in 1962.

In a bid to ensure peace and tranquillity on the border, Chinese and Indian border troops have conducted a joint disaster relief exercise in February.

Li told the visiting Indian NSA, before a solution is found, both countries should “properly manage their differences”.

“China and India, as the two largest emerging economies in the world, should value and maintain the sound momentum of the development in bilateral relations”, Li said.

He called on the two sides to strengthen coordination in international and regional affairs, and send a positive signal to the world that China and India will work hand in hand to safeguard peace and stability and promote common development.

Earlier last month, China praised India’s decision to refuse to patrol the South China Sea with the US.

“By refusing the US proposal, India is taking a stand and showing goodwill to China” an editorial in the Global Times, the mouth piece of the ruling Communist Party said.

India is willing to enhance high-level exchanges with China, deepen bilateral economic and security cooperation and properly deal with boundary issues, so as to ensure greater development of bilateral ties, Indian NSA Doval was quoted as saying on Thursday by Chinese agency Xinhua.

Meng Jianzhu, China’s top official in charge of political and legal affairs, also met with Doval on Thursday.

Meng, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said the two sides should strengthen law-enforcement cooperation on fighting terrorism, separatism, cross-border crime and cybercrimes.

India has partnered with China on both the BRICS Bank and the AIIB.

BRICS members China, India and Russia are also the three largest shareholders in the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), with a voting share of 26.06 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 5.92 per cent, respectively.

The BRICS Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Silk Road Fund are all initiatives spearheaded by China for a new kind of global development financing.


TBP and Agencies

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