No hurdle in resuming defence ties, says China

Discussion in 'China' started by ejazr, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Hyderabad and Sydney

    Amid indications that a breakthrough is expected in unfreezing the defence ties between China and India, the Chinese Embassy has said that there's "no hurdle" in the resumption of defence cooperation and that dialogue is on between the two sides on this matter.

    Chinese Embassy spokesperson Zou Yonghong told The Indian Express: "There is no hurdle in defence cooperation. Dialogue between the two military is going on."

    Defence cooperation was paused in August last year after China refused to issue a proper 'pasted' visa to Lt Gen B S Jaswal, the GOC-in-C. He was the Northern Army Commander in Jammu and Kashmir which China considers "disputed".

    While the Chinese side is very keen to resume the defence exchanges between the two countries, New Delhi is insisting that the issue of stapled visas to J&K residents must be resolved first.

    In this context, New Delhi has noticed that Beijing has not issued a single "stapled visa" to J&K residents since Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao's visit last December. Government sources confirmed this development — that has taken place quietly — to The Indian Express, although there have been no formal or official communication from Beijing on the issue. The real test, sources said, is whether the Chinese are issuing proper 'pasted' visas to Indian nationals hailing from J&K.

    South Block sources, who have been tracking this issue, said New Delhi is not yet celebrating this development, but is "cautiously optimistic". However, the issue of stapled visas, sources added, remained with respect to the residents of Arunachal Pradesh.

    The Chinese Embassy spokesperson Zou Yonghong refused to comment on the issue of stapled visas.

    South Block sources said that the issue of defence exchanges is likely to be discussed during the Prime Minister's visit to Sanya, a city in China's Hainan island, where he is expected to meet the Chinese leadership. A bilateral meeting is expected on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit on April 14, which will be embracing South Africa as a new member. Sources said depending on the progress of discussions between the two sides, a possible visit of the Defence Minister is also being discussed. Though no dates are being discussed as yet, sources said there is a possibility of A K Antony going to China after the elections in his home state, Kerala.

    During his India visit, the Chinese Premier had made an oblique pitch for defence cooperation in the course of his speech at the Indian Council of World Affairs as he said that China is ready to work with India to intensify exchanges and multi-level consultations between political parties and "in the military field" to enhance political and strategic mutual trust.
  3. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

    Oct 16, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Delhi, India, India
    India and China agree to resume defence exchanges

    India and China today agreed to resume high-level defence exchanges with Beijing giving its consent to let a division commander, a Major General-ranked officer, from the Northern Army Command to lead a military delegation to China later this year. The understanding is that this officer will be given a proper visa, not a stapled one.

    This effectively ends the year-long Indian suspension of high-level military exchanges with China after it conveyed last year that the Northern Army Commander, who was to lead a multi-command delegation to China, would require a stapled visa. This was based on the reasoning that China provides stapled visas to residents of the area, Jammu & Kashmir, which fall under the command of the Northern Army Commander.

    As reported first by The Indian Express, the compromise was reached after India conveyed that instead of the Northern Army Commander, this delegation would be led by a Major General from the Northern Command and would include representatives from other military commands as well.

    In fact, sources said, the delegation size would be of eight to nine members with more officers from the Northern Command besides the leader and all of them would get proper visas.

    This significant breakthrough was firmed up at the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao on the margins of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit here.

    Given that a division commander is in charge of only a part of the area under Northern Command, sources said, was an argument that helped resolve the deadlock

    According to National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, the two leaders also took forward the conversation on the idea, first discussed during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India last December, of having a working mechanism for consultation and coordination to maintain peace and tranquility on the border.

    This mechanism, which will be headed by the joint secretary (East Asia) on the Indian side and the Director General of the newly created Boundary Department in the Chinese Foreign Office, will ensure real time contact between officials on both sides so that issues of doubt arising out of different perceptions of the Line of Actual Control can be addressed immediately.

    This mechanism will also look at cooperative efforts in border areas like facilitating trade, religious pilgrimages and even removing practical impediments to opening up more passes along the boundary. While these are the broad objectives, Menon said, both sides are working to reduce all of this into an agreement.

    “The two leaders also instructed the Special Representatives to continue their work towards a permanent settlement of the boundary question,” added Menon.

    In what will be the year of India-China exchange, more political visits are also expected. To begin with, Vice President Hamid Ansari is slated to visit China within the next couple of months to meet his counterpart Xi Jinping, who is to take over as President from Hu Jintao next year. Sources said Xi is expected to visit India later in the year.

    Besides this, the issue of trade imbalance between both countries also figured in the talks with the two leaders agreeing to hold the strategic economic dialogue soon. “Frankly, Indian exports have grown faster than Indian imports in the first part of this year. But this is one of the issues we will discuss in the strategic economic dialogue,” said Menon.


Share This Page