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India, China to resume defence dialogue after a year`s gap

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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