Chinese Defence Minister in India
China’s Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie is on a five-day visit to India. His visit, the first by a Chinese Defence Minister in eight years, since General Cao Gangchuan’s trip in March 2004, comes at a time when the two Asian giants are aiming at getting a firm grip across the continent for resources.
The Minister who arrived in Mumbai on September 2, visited Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial ‘Mani Bhawan’, and is scheduled to arrive in New Delhi on September 4. He is expected to allay New Delhi’s concerns over Chinese military infrastructure buildup along the border and discuss the revival of joint military exercises halted four years back. He will meet Defence Minister A.K. Antony to discuss issues relat- ed to strengthening military-to-military cooperation.
According to sources in the Defence Ministry, the two sides are expected to exchange views on putting in place more confidence building measures which includes resuming the joint army-to-army exercises which had started in 2007 but were put on hold after New Delhi froze all bilateral defence exchanges with Beijing in 2010.
It may be mentioned that the two sides have a longpending boundary problem along the 4,000 km-long line of actual control (LAC). Special representatives of the two countries have held 15 rounds of talks on the issue but not much progress has been made in this regard.