India, China to resume defense dialogue after a year’s gap

NEW DELHI: After a year’s break, India and China are all set to resume defense dialogue, which had suffered a setback after Beijing had denied a visa to an army commander based in Jammu and Kashmir.

The two sides will soon resume the fourth round of defense secretary level talks, Defense Minister A K Antony said here today.

“We (India and China) will have a structured dialogue very soon. The fourth round of defense dialogue at secretary level will take place very soon,” he told reporters after addressing naval commanders here.

On resumption of defense dialogue between India and China, he said, “There were some delays but now all the issues have been sorted out (to resume the defense dialogue) between both the governments.”

He also informed that Chinese defense secretary was willing to visit New Delhi and hold the defense dialogue in the first week of June. Chinese Defense Secretary Ma Xiaotian would be visiting Sri Lanka in June and has expressed his desire to visit India thereafter.

“But we said our hands are already full. On May 30-31 there will be Indo-Pakistan defense secretary level talks. On May 31, German Defense Minister is coming along with the German Chancellor. On June 1, Afghan Defense Minister is coming,” Antony said.

“So, we said if he is coming he is welcome and our defense secretary would be glad to meet him. We then suggested that we will have structured dialogue very soon,” he said.

India had called off defense exchanges in July last year after China refused visa to Lt Gen B S Jaswal, who was Northern Army commander, on the ground he came from “sensitive” Jammu and Kashmir. .
Antony also said that an eight member defense delegation from the Indian Army led by an officer of the rank of Major General would visit China in the second half of June.

“In the second half of June, an eight member delegation led by a Major General of Northern Command will visit China. The delegation would consist of members from Eastern and Central Command also,” he said. -PTI

Tags: ,