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Chinese Army delegation in India to improve coordination along border

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NEW DELHI (PTI): A 10-member delegation of Chinese Army is in India with an aim to increase coordination between the militaries of the two countries along their disputed boundary, in the first such visit after the Doklam standoff.

The visit by the high-level Chinese military delegation led by Lt Gen Liu Xiaowu, Deputy Commander of Western Theatre Command of Chinese Army, is in sync with decisions taken at an informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China's President Xi Jinping.

The delegation, which will be in India till July 6, has met Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt General Devraj Anbu during which ways to increase coordination between the two militaries were discussed, sources said.

The issue of the two armies resuming their military exercise – Hand in Hand – was also discussed. The exercise did not take place last year in the wake of the Doklam standoff.

India and China had endorsed the need to resume military ties when Modi and Xi had the informal summit at Wuhan in April.

"Towards that end, this visit by the military delegation to local military headquarters is a significant step forward towards increasing interactions at military commander's level and implementation of various agreements to maintain peace and tranquillity on the borders," the Army said in a statement.

Troops of India and China were locked in the 73-day standoff in Doklam since June 16 last year after the Indian side stopped the construction of a road by the Chinese Army in the disputed area. The face-off had ended on August 28.

The delegation will also visit Eastern Command of the Army and interact with senior officials at the headquarters of 33 Corps.

"During their stay at Sukna, the visiting dignitaries will hold delegation level talks, besides interaction at various levels for better understanding of each other and exchange of ideas," the Army said.

The Indian delegation will be led by Lt Gen Pradeep M Bali, GOC Trishakti Corps.

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