‘China, India military exchanges back on track’

September 3rd, 2012 - 12:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 3 (IANS) Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie’s India visit is “a sign that military exchanges between China and India are back on track”, an expert told a Chinese daily.

Liang Guanglie arrived in Mumbai Sunday, marking the first visit by a Chinese defence minister to India in eight years.

Fu Xiaoqiang, an expert on South Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the visit was a sign that military exchanges between China and India are back on track, reported China Daily.

The Chinese daily said the rapid and almost simultaneous rise of China and India raised concerns about an inevitable confrontation between the two emerging economies.

Liang and his delegation, which includes high-ranking members of the Chinese defense and military establishment, are scheduled to meet Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

Liang’s visit showed that military exchanges between Asia’s two largest powers have “returned to normal”, Fu said.

Despite defence exchange being on hold since 2004, Fu said there have been political engagements between the two nations.

“I think visit of General Liang will also enrich the two countries’ cooperation in military and security,” Fu was quoted as saying.

“I would rather see the current political climate as an opportunity for China and India. If the two handle it properly, dialogues on various issues will help us avoid doubts and embrace more opportunities for the comprehensive development of Sino-Indian relations,” he added.

Liang began his visit to three Asian neighbours Wednesday, stopping in Sri Lanka. After the five-day trip to India, he heads to Laos.

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