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China terms Defence Minister's India visit a success

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Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Sept. 4. A Chinese MoD photo

BEIJING (PTI): Terming Chinese Defence Minister Gen Liang Guanglie's visit to India a success, China has said the two countries have agreed to push forwards relations and step up military-to-military exchanges.

Gen Liang, the first Chinese Defence Minister to visit India in eight years, held talks with his Indian counterpart A K Antony, during his five-day visit to India.

Hong Lie told a media briefing in Beijing on Thursday that the visit was successful, though he declined to react to the controversy over the cash gift to two Indian Air Force pilots who flew Gen Liang from Mumbai to New Delhi.

"Liang's visit to India was a success. He had meetings with political and military leaders of India," Hong said answering a question.

"Both sides agreed to push forward China-India relations, step up military-to-military exchanges and work jointly to maintain the momentum of China and India relations," he said.

Asked about reports in the Indian media over Liang gifting Rs 50,000 cash to each of the IAF pilot, Hong said he was not aware of the specifics of the incident.

Gen Liang's visit is widely reported in the Chinese media while the country's defence and strategic analysts have said that the two countries should move beyond joint military exercises and firm up defence ties with more exchanges.

During the talks, India and China decided to resume at the "earliest" joint military exercises, which has been put on hold since 2010 over visa row, and agreed to enhance tranquility at the borders, reflecting their keenness to improve mutual confidence.

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China  India  Defence  
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