India, China agree to work closely in Asia-Pacific region

September 7th, 2012 - 11:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) In an important confidence-building step to ease their ties, India and China have agreed to work closely for stability in the Asia-Pacific region, widely seen as a potential source of friction between the two neighbours.

India and China have agreed to work together to maintain peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, said a joint communique issued at the end of Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie’s four-day visit to India.

With the US announcing the Asia pivot strategy and declaring India as a lynchpin of security in the Asia-Pacific, China has been suspicious of India’s forays in the region it considers as its domain.

However, the talks between Defence Minister A.K. Antony and his Chinese counterpart Tuesday led to the forging of a “strategic consensus” on closer cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and signalled Beijing’s formal acknowledgment of New Delhi as a player in this resource-rich region.

In a quid pro quo of sorts, India, on its part, agreed to work with China to “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”.

During the talks Tuesday, India and China decided to resume their joint military exercises and agreed on a host of confidence-building measures, including greater security cooperation to maintain peace and tranquility on the border.

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