Defence Secretary to visit China in January to discuss CBMs
New Delhi: With an aim of pushing military ties, a high-level delegation led by Defence Secertary Shashikant Sharma will visit China next month to discuss confidence building measures including the resumption of joint Army exercises.
The Defence Secretary will head a tri-services delegation to China on January 14-15 as part of the 5th Annual Defence Dialogue between the two sides, Ministry officials said here on Friday.
Defence Minister AK Antony is also likely to visit China next year as he had accepted an invitation from Chinese Defence Minister Gen Liang Guanglie during his trip here in September.
During the visit of Liang, the two sides had agreed to resume their bilateral military exercises in 2013 and increase defence exchanges.
Military exercises between the two countries had started in 2007 but were put on hold in 2010 after a series of hiccups in the defence ties between the two sides.
The first exercise was held in Kunming, China in 2007 and the second in Belgaum in India in 2008. The third edition was to have been held in China in 2010 but got stalled.
After the denial of visa to the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen BS Jaswal by the Chinese in 2010, New Delhi had frozen all bilateral defence exchanges with Beijing.
The defence exchanges were revived in the recent times but there were still some hiccups as China has been refusing to grant visas to armed forces officers from Arunachal Pradesh-- an Indian state over which China lays its claim.
The two countries have also operationalised mechanisms to prevent any face-off between their armed forces along the over 4,000-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) apart from coordinating in high seas in the Gulf of Aden to tackle piracy.