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.

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