China on Wednesday said a “broad consensus” has been reached with India during the recent visit of army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag to further improve relations between the two militaries, including cooperation on border management and control. During his visit to China from November 20 to 25, Gen Suhag held talks with Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Gen Xu Qiliang, head of the PLA Gen Li Zuocheng and head of the Commander of the Eastern Theatre Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Gen Liu Yuejun, Chinese military spokesman, Col Yang Yujin said in Beijing.
Watch what else is in the news
“The two sides exchanged views and reached a broad consensus on further development of bilateral military relations and enhancement of army to army cooperation and cooperation on border management and control,” he said to a question on the takeaway of Gen Suhag’s visit from the Chinese perspective and the talks between the Indian Army chief and Gen Xu, who reports directly to President Xi Jinping who heads the CMC, the PLA’s overall high command.
A press release by the Ministry of Defence quoted Xu as saying that the militaries of the two countries should serve as the booster and stabiliser in the development of relations between China and India.
Xu said that China and India have a long history of friendship, and the Chinese side attaches great importance to developing relations between with India.
Xu wished that the armies of the two countries would further strengthen border management and control and enhance border defence cooperation, so as to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas, it said.
Gen Suhag’s visit is the first by an army chief to China in two years after his predecessor Gen Bikram Singh visited the country in 2014.
The visit also coincided with the anti-terrorism exercises ‘Hand-in-Hand’ being held between the troops of the two countries in Pune.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar had also visited China in April this year.
Since Gen Singh’s visit, PLA – the world’s largest army -has undergone radical transformation with sweeping reforms initiated by Xi to revamp command and control systems of the 2.3 million-strong force.