New Delhi: In an important confidence-building step to ease their ties, India and China have agreed to work closely for stability in the Asia-Pacific region, widely seen as a potential source of friction between the two neighbours.
India and China have agreed to work together to maintain peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, said a joint communique issued at the end of Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie`s four-day visit to India.
With the US announcing the Asia pivot strategy and declaring India as a lynchpin of security in the Asia-Pacific, China has been suspicious of India`s forays in the region it considers as its domain.
However, the talks between Defence Minister AK Antony and his Chinese counterpart Tuesday led to the forging of a "strategic consensus" on closer cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and signalled Beijing`s formal acknowledgment of New Delhi as a player in this resource-rich region.
In a quid pro quo of sorts, India, on its part, agreed to work with China to "enhance and strengthen cooperation between the naval forces of both sides, in counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia".
During the talks Tuesday, India and China decided to resume their joint military exercises and agreed on a host of confidence-building measures, including greater security cooperation to maintain peace and tranquility on the border.