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 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.
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.
General Liang inspected an Inter-services Guard of Honour in the
forecourt of South Block.