|India and China Agree to Expand Defence Cooperation Next Round of Joint Military Exercises to be Conducted at the Earliest Antony to Visit China Next Year|
|India and China today reached consensus on a wide range of issues relating to defence and military exchanges and cooperation to be conducted this year and beyond. At the 90 minute delegation level meeting between the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony and the visiting Defence Minister of China General Liang Guanglie here in South Block, it was agreed by the two sides to conduct the next round of Joint Military Exercises at the earliest.|
They also agreed to strengthen border security cooperation between the border troops of the two sides so as to enhance and maintain peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas.
The two sides proclaimed their decision to work together to maintain peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, promote port calls by naval ships of the two sides and conduct joint maritime search and rescue exercises. The two sides decided to further 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.
The Chinese side invited the Shri Antony to visit China in 2013. Shri Antony thanked General Liang for the invitation and conveyed that the timing of his visit could be settled through diplomatic channels. The two sides decided to strengthen the high level exchanges between the two defence ministries and Armed Forces of both sides. They also decided to promote exchange visits by personnel at different levels and in various fields. The two countries will strengthen exchanges in personnel training, academic research and cooperation between educational institutions of the Armed Forces of both sides.
The two sides also discussed the regional security situation and international issues of common interests and concern. Both Ministers agreed that expanding bilateral cooperation between the defence ministries and armed forces of India and China helps enhance mutual trust, deepens friendship and promotes comprehensive development of the India-China Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity. The two defence ministers agreed to work together to enhance mutual trust in the security field and continue to maintain peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas. They noted that the leaders of India and China have designated 2012 as the year of India-China friendship and cooperation.
General Liang inspected an Inter-services Guard of Honour in the forecourt of South Block.