India, China to hold joint military exercises?

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 18:30

New Delhi: Months after suspending the
high-level defence exchanges, India appears to be moving to
resume military manoeuvres with China as indications emerged
on Tuesday that the two countries could be holding joint exercises
in the near future.

The indications emerged on the eve of the meeting between
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao
in Sanya and amid apparent Chinese moves to reverse its
two-year-old policy of granting stapled visas to Indian
nationals hailing from Jammu and Kashmir.

"The joint exercises would be held," a source said here
when asked whether the military exercises will resume.

The source pointed out that some level of defence contact
like border flag meeting had always been maintained even after
high-level military exchanges were suspended after the
Northern Army Commander Lt Gen BS Jaswal was given a visa on
a loose sheet because he was serving in the state.

On the stapled visa issue, the sources noted that there
was some movement but India will have to wait and watch how
things evolve.

They said the two countries will have to work quietly on
this without making any announcements.

China had in 2008 started the practice of issuing visas
on loose sheets of paper to people from Jammu and Kashmir,
which was seen here as questioning India`s sovereignty over
the state.

This had been an irritant in bilateral relations and the
matter had snowballed into a major controversy last July after
the Jaswal episode.

The Prime Minister had taken up the stapled visa issue
with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Vietnam in October last
year when they had met on the sidelines of ASEAN Summit.

The issue was again raised in December with Chinese
Premier Wen Jiabao when he visited here.

The sources pointed out that political and economic
relations between India and China had been growing and that
the borders were also calm.

On the building of infrastructure by China along its
borders with India, the sources said India was also doing so
on its side of the border to catch up with its eastern

It was pointed out that 78 road projects were expected to
be completed by India by 2012 and all but eight would be
finished on time. The remaining eight will take a little

Singh and Hu will meet in Sanya tomorrow and are expected
to discuss furthering bilateral relations.


First Published: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - 18:30

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