India, China agree peace on border key to trust

    By IANS,

    New Delhi: Peace on the border is key to growth of bilateral cooperation, noted the defence ministers of India and China Saturday as they stressed on enhancing mutual trust and understanding between their militaries.

    According to the joint statement, Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony reviewed the working of agreements and protocols dealing with the maintenance of peace and tranquility with his Chinese counterpart Gen Chang Wanquan and urged they be further strengthened.

    Antony is on an official visit to China from July 4-7. The Chinese defence minister is expected to visit India next year, said the statement.

    Appreciating that border defence cooperation would make a significant contribution, the two leaders agreed on an early conclusion of negotiations for the Border Defence Cooperation agreement, said the statement.

    The two defence ministers also discussed the ongoing and proposed bilateral exchanges and welcomed the holding of the counter-terrorism bilateral joint exercise between the two armies in China this year, said the statement.

    They also agreed on additional exchanges and visits between India and China including of senior military commanders, border troop delegations and border personnel.

    Navies of the two countries will increase port visits, consider conducting joint maritime exercises and cooperate in counter-piracy operations, said the statement.

    Similarly, the two air forces will carry out high-level visits and expand their functional exchanges, focussing on flight safety, aviation medicine and training.

    Further, military training institutions will strengthen their exchanges at the faculty and student levels and carry out more visits, the statement said.