India, China to resume defence dialogue after a year`s gap
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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 16:00
New Delhi: After a year's break, India and China are all set to resume defence 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 defence secretary level talks, Defence Minister A K Antony said here today.

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

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

He also informed that Chinese defence secretary was willing to visit New Delhi and hold the defence dialogue in the first week of June. Chinese Defence 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 defence secretary level talks. On May 31, German Defence Minister is coming along with the German Chancellor. On June 1, Afghan Defence Minister is coming," Antony said.

"So, we said if he is coming he is welcome and our defence secretary would be glad to meet him. We then suggested that we will have structured dialogue very soon," he said. India had called off defence 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 defence 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.


First Published: Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 16:00

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