New Delhi, 12 June-2014, PTI: Indian and Chinese armies will hold their fourth joint military exercise in India in November.
This was stated by Joint Secretary in-charge of China in the External Affairs Ministry Gautam Bambawale.
“The next round of joint training exercises between the two armies will be held in India in November,” Bhambawale said at a conference, where his speech was read out.
The third joint exercise between the two armies code named “hand in hand” had taken place in November last year in China’s Chengdu city after a gap of five years.
A 150-strong Indian army contingent had participated in the 10-day long exercise.
The first exercise was held in China’s Kunming city in 2007 followed by the second round at Belgaum in Karnataka in 2008. The next round was called off by India following denial of visa to a top General heading troops in Jammu and Kashmir.
In his address at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Bambawale said the intensity of defence exchanges between the two countries has grown this year.
In this context, he referred to visits here of Deputy Chief of General Staff of People’s Liberation Army Lt General Wang Guanzhong in February and Deputy Chief of General Staff (Operations) Lt General Qi Jianguo in April.
“We are also expecting a visit by the Chinese Defence Minister in the latter half of this year,” said Bambawale.
Talking about trade relations, he said they form an important part of “our strategic and cooperative partnership”.
He, however, identified trade deficit in favour of China as an issue for the government and said one of the measures to address it was to increase Chinese investment in India.
The official described as “difficult” and “sensitive” boundary issue but said efforts by both the countries resulted in peace and tranquility on the border.
“Both sides have also recognised that peace and tranquility on the border is an important guarantor for development and continued growth of our bilateral relations.
“Both sides are also in agreement that for relations to grow more rapidly, they should accommodate and be sensitive to each other’s concerns and aspirations and see each other as equal partners for development,” he said.