Chinese defence minister to skip Amar Jawan Jyoti

September 3rd, 2012 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) Chinese Defence Minister Gen Liang Guanglie will have a packed schedule in India Tuesday, but he will not be visiting Amar Jawan Jyoti, the war memorial for the unknown soldier, at India Gate, a customary stop for visiting defence ministers.

He will hold talks with his Indian counterpart A.K. Antony and meet the heads of all services. Gen Liang is also expected to call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

This is the first visit by a Chinese defence minister in the last eight years.

Contacted to know why Gen Liang will not be visiting the war memorial, the Chinese embassy, declined to comment on it. No reason has been ascribed, with officials saying it could be due to back-to-back meetings the Chinese defence minister has in New Delhi.

Incidentally, Oct 20, 2012 will be the 50th anniversary of the month-long war India and China fought in 1962.

Gen Liang’s visit comes just ahead of the once-in-a decade leadership change in China expected later this year.

Cao Gangchuan was the last Chinese defence minister to visit India in March 2004.

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