Kicking off his first visit to China, India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar held talks with his Chinese counterpart Gen Chang Wanquan where he stated that India attaches highest priority to its relationship with China and is committed to strengthening ties. “India attaches highest priority to relations with China and committed to further developing friendly and cooperative relations with China,” Mr Parrikar said on April 18.
According a ceremonial welcome to Mr Parrikar, Mr Chang said: “Hope your visit improve strategic mutual trust between the two armed forces”. Mr Parrikar will also meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. He is expected to visit China’s recently integrated western command military headquarters in Chengdu.
Frequent incidents of incursions, implementation of an agreement to reduce tensions between border patrols and China-India strategic concerns are expected to figure in Mr Parrikar’s talks with senior Chinese military officials. As China blocked India’s attempts at the UN to ban Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad’s chief Masood Azhar, the issue is expected to figure in their talks.
There have been concerns in India about China’s growing aggressive patrolling in the Ladakh region. While China has denied incursions in the region, it asserts that its troops patrol areas within its territory along the 3,488 km disputed border.
Both India and China have reservations about each other’s military tie-ups with other countries. China has reacted with caution over the proposed logistics pact between India and the US where the two countries could share each other’s military bases. India and the US are also working towards concluding a pact to share aircraft sharing technologies.
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