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Chinese Defence Minister to visit India

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NEW DELHI (PTI): India and China are expected to discuss revival of their 'hand-in-hand' exercise and more confidence building measures during the three-day visit of Chinese Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie starting September 2 in Mumbai.

During the first visit by a Chinese Defence Minister in last seven years, the two sides will discuss ways of strengthening their defence ties, Ministry officials said here.

The two sides will also discuss holding of the Exercise 'Hand-in-Hand' in China next year, they said.

Guanglie will hold discussions with Defence Minister A K Antony on the last day of his visit.

The bilateral exercises had started in 2007 but were put on hold after a series of hiccups in the defence ties between the two sides.

The first exercise was held in Kunming in 2007 in China whereas the second was held in India at Belgaum in 2008.

After the denial of visa to the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen B S Jaswal by the Chinese in 2010, India froze all bilateral defence exchanges with Beijing.

Though the defence exchanges have started now, there are still some problems as China declined to issue visa to an IAF officer belonging to Arunachal Pradesh.

After the major military infrastructure upgrade by the Chinese side along its border with India, New Delhi has also started preparing its infrastructure there.

It has undertaken a strategic project to build more than 70 roads in border areas.

It has also raised two divisions of the Army there and proposals have also been forwarded for raising of an offensive mountain Corps in that region.

The IAF has also started upgrading its strength there by the deployment of Su-30MKI aircraft at its Tezpur and Chhabua air bases.

India will also activate new and old Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in the eastern sector.

Later, the Defence Ministry in a release said the "two sides will also discuss measures to promote defence cooperation between their armed forces."

"Enhancement of measures for maintenance of peace and tranquility along the borders and facilitation of confidence building measures between the armed forces of both the countries are expected to be discussed," it said.

A Defence Minister-level visit to China from India had last taken place in May 2006.

General Liang's visit will be the first by a Chinese Defence Minister to India since Gen Cao Gangchuan's visited here in March 2004.

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India  China  Defence  Visit  
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