Indian, Chinese defence ministers hold ‘fruitful’ talks

September 4th, 2012 - 3:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) India and China Tuesday held “very fruitful and frank” talks on all issues, including their border row, and agreed to more exchanges between their militaries, the defence ministers of both countries said here.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony, after talks with his visiting Chinese counterpart Gen. Liang Guanglie, said they had “very, very fruitful and frank discussions on all issues”, adding he had accepted an invitation to visit China. The visit would take place “sometime next year”, and would be “as per mutual convenience”.

Antony said the two sides had discussed “how to improve relations, including in the border areas”.

Liang said the two sides held “candid and practical discussions and had reached consensus on many issues”.

“We have reached important consensus on strategic issues and for cooperation in promoting friendly ties, including between our armed forces,” he told reporters through an interpreter.

Liang said the two sides had also reached agreement and consensus on exchanges between their militaries, including high-level visits, between officers and between their navies and also in maritime security cooperation.

Ahead of the talks, India had Monday conveyed its concerns to China about its activities in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and asked it to stop such activities.

“Government is aware of the infrastructure development by China at the border and their undertaking infrastructure projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK),” Antony had said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

“Government has conveyed its concerns to China about their activities in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and asked them to cease such activities,” he said.

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

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

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