High expectations from Chinese minister’s India trip: Daily


Beijing : Expectations from the visit of Defence Minister Liang Guanglie to India are running high, said a daily that claimed “outsiders with ulterior motives dislike” that the Chinese military has forged closer ties with other militaries in the region.

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An editorial in the China Daily Wednesday said: “General Liang’s current visit to India is the first a Chinese defence minister has made to that country in eight years.”

“It remains unclear whether his talks with Indian officials will touch on a long-standing border dispute that is partially responsible for the neighbours’ distrust of each other,” it said.

India has a dragging dispute with China over its Arunachal Pradesh state.

The editorial added: “Expectations are running high that the visit may lead to a new session of the `hand-in-hand’ military drills that Indian and Chinese troops have conducted together.”

India and China Tuesday decided to resume their stalled joint military exercises “at the earliest” and boost security cooperation to sustain peace and tranquility in border areas. The decision to resume joint military exercises, which was stalled in 2010 due to a diplomatic spat over visa issues, was announced after 90-minute talks between Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony and his Chinese counterpart Gen. Liang Guanglie.

The defence minister’s five-day India visit began Sunday, a day when Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, left Beijing for Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore.

The next day, Wu Shengli, PLA naval commander, started on a trip to Turkey and a deputy chief of staff of the PLA Navy arrived in Indonesia.

The daily said: “We have witnessed public indignation arise at home following provocations by foreign claimants and seen decision-makers come under greater pressure to get tough. But we have heard nothing that is provocative from our own defence authorities.”

It went on to say that “outsiders with ulterior motives dislike that the PLA has forged closer ties with other militaries in the region. But that is exactly what the PLA needs to do and should do more of”.

“These territorial disputes would not be threatening the entire region’s safety had there not been instigations from outsiders,” the daily noted.

“The PLA now has the difficult responsibility of explaining its non-offensive strategy and need to expand, as well as show its willingness to work more closely with other militaries in the region. A greater amount of mutual confidence among militaries in the region will prove a fundamental guarantor of peace.

“They have an obligation to show that countries in this part of the world are capable of solving their problems by themselves,” it added.