Indian Army delegation arrives in China

This is the first Indian military delegation to visit China in about an year.

Beijing: An eight-member Indian military delegation arrived here on Sunday on a week-long goodwill visit to China, marking the resumption of defence ties between the two Asian giants that were frozen for a year.

The multi-command delegation is headed by Maj Gen Gurmeet Singh of the Northern Command.

During the tour, the delegation will visit Chinese military units and hold talks with their counterparts in Beijing, Xinjiang and Shanghai, official sources here said.

This is the first Indian military delegation to visit China in about an year as an earlier delegation to be headed by the then Northern Command chief Lt Gen BS Jaswal cancelled its tour last year after China declined to provide regular visa to him on the ground that he headed troops in Jammu and Kashmir.

This prompted India to put off the military exchanges until China changed its policy of issuing visas on stapled paper to residents from Jammu and Kashmir, being followed from 2008 on the ground that it was a disputed territory.

The issue, however, was resolved after China started issuing regular visas to several Jammu and Kashmir residents including some journalists who covered Sanya in China this year to report on the BRICS summit, though it was not clear yet whether China formally withdrew the policy.

The decision to resume military ties was announced after a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of
BRICS summit.

Following the understanding, China agreed to receive a delegation headed by Maj Gen Singh, who is a senior official from the Northern Command.

Subsequently, the two countries also agreed to resume the annual defence dialogue which is due to be taken place in New Delhi.

The dates for this dialogue were being worked, officials here said.


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