India, China to expand military ties, ensure border peace
24 August 2018
India and China have agreed to expand their military ties and enhance interaction between the militaries to ensure peace on the border, which has been vitiated by last year’s stand-off in the Doklam are and subsequent disengagement.
The announcement comes after a meeting between the India’s defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe at South Block, in New Delhi on Thursday.
The two countries also agreed to work towards full implementation of ongoing confidence building measures along the disputed border, besides drafting a new bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.
The two countries agreed to handle Doklam-like incidents with sensitivity, and with restraint, rationality and maturity. These incidents will be resolved by mutual discussion and interaction at all levels between the two armies.
Both sides referred to the strategic communications issued to the two militaries following the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at Wuhan in April.
“It was decided to expand the engagement between the armed forces relating to training, joint exercises and other professional interactions. Both sides also decided to work towards a new bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on defence exchanges and cooperation to replace the MoU signed in 2006,” the defence ministry stated in a relese on the bilateral meeting.
In order to ensure peace and tranquility on the border, both ministers agreed on greater interactions at the working level, including operationalisation of the hotline between the relevant departments of the armed forces, the statement added.
India and China fought a war in 1962 and the unresolved dispute over stretches of their 3,500 km border continue to hamper improvement of bilateral relations.
The two countries, however, hold similar positions on a host of issues, including US sanctions and US tariffs.