India,China agree on need for ‘communication’,but Antony mum on ‘threat’

A K Antony plays down warning by Chinese general and Ladakh incursion,agrees to resume joint-army exercises too.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Beijing | Published on:July 5, 2013 9:10 pm

Seeking to maintain peace and stability on the Line of Actual Control in the backdrop of the PLA incursion in Ladakh,India and China today agreed that “strategic communication” is required for building mutual trust even as they agreed to resume joint-army exercises.

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During the delegation-level talks between Defence Minister A K Antony and his Chinese counterpart Gen Chang Wanquan here,the two sides agreed that they will make joint efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity on the borders and take measures to strengthen communication and coordination at various levels between the border guarding forces.

On the issue of the Chinese incursion into Depsang Valley in April,Antony said,”when we are discussing for a long time we will discuss everything. Outcome is very important. In discussions,everything will be discussed. But the outcome is very positive”.

Asked whether he took up the hostile comments made by a Major General of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Luo Yuan,Antony said,”My discussions were with official people. Very detailed delegation level dialogue with the Defence Minister,and with the Premier also.

“The PM again reiterated,the new leadership in China,he told me,gives much importance to strengthening and expanding the relations with India”.

The General had yesterday accused India of occupying 90,000 sq km of territory and cautioned New Delhi not to “provoke” China by increasing the military deployment at the border to “start new trouble”.

Antony said Chinese Premier felt that in the emerging scenario,India and China can play a major role and “we must play a role together for the betterment of the two countries,prosperity of people of two countries and betterment of region and peace and stability”.

He told me that he consciously decided on India as his first overseas destination after assuming office as Prime Minister of China,Antony said referring to Li’s visit in May.

“This was to send a signal to everybody that the new Chinese leadership wants very cordial and friendly relations with India and they want to jointly work with India for prosperity of their nation and also other countries”,he said.

Meanwhile,an Indian Defence Ministry spokesperson said here that,”In the discussions between the two defence ministers,measures to promote mutual trust and confidence building between the armed forces were discussed.

“It was agreed that ‘strategic communication’ is required for building trust and understanding,” he said.

The stress on the need for maintaining peace along the LAC comes against the backdrop of the Depsang valley incursion incident in May when the Chinese troops had pitched their tents 19kms inside Indian territory for over three weeks.

Antony is on a four-day official visit here and in his meeting with the Chinese premier,the Defence Minister said India looks forward to “building the relationship (with China) further on a foundation of mutual trust and confidence and based on mutual respect for each other’s concerns”.

On Li’s statement that China’s new leadership attaches importance …continued »

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