Indo-Sino defense, security dialogue: Officials agree to augment military exchanges
(Sourced from PTI)
Top officials of India and China held the 9th Annual Defense and Security Dialogue in Beijing after a year's gap due to the Doklam standoff, as both countries agreed to enhance military exchanges. The dialogue on November 13 was held between the two defense delegations headed by Defense Secretary Sanjay Mitra and China's Deputy Chief of Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission.
At the talks, both sides agreed on enhancing defense exchanges and interactions at different levels, a press release by the Indian Embassy in Beijing said today. The exchanges include reciprocal high-level visits between the two defense ministries as well as between military commands, joint training exercises, mutual visits by defense personnel including mid-level and cadet officers, the release said.
Both sides reiterated the importance of maintaining peace in border areas, implementing the consensus reached between Modi and Xi in April and specific additional confidence-building measures at the operational level. They also had an exchange of views on regional and global-issues. "Both sides underlined the importance of this dialogue as an important mechanism between the two countries for consultations on defense," the release said.
After the talks, Mitra, the former Chief Secretary of West Bengal, called on China's State Councilor and Defense Minister General, Wei Fenghe yesterday, the release said. Mitra was accompanied by senior officials of the Ministry of Defense and Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. Both sides agreed to hold the next round of the dialogue at a mutually convenient time in India in 2019.
The annual dialogue didn't take place last year following the 73-day standoff between the two militaries at Doklam, which was triggered by China's plan to build a road close to the narrow Chicken's Neck corridor, connecting India's northeastern states. The standoff ended when Chinese troops stopped the road-construction and there was an informal summit between PM Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in April.
The defense dialogue was held ahead of the 21st round of border talks between the Special Representatives of the two countries in Dujiangyan on November 23-24. National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval, and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, will be representing their countries.