New Delhi: A year after the Doklam standoff, India and China have agreed to enhance their military exchanges and interaction, said reports. Top officials of the two countries met during the ninth Annual Defence and Security Dialogue in Beijing a couple of days ago where the Indian side, headed by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra met the Chinese delegation led by the country’s Deputy Chief of Joint Staff, Department of the Central Military Commission. Also Read - US Lawmakers Urge China to Urgently Shut Down 'Wet Markets' As Coronavirus Crisis Deepens
Mitra was accompanied by senior officials of the Ministry of Defence and Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. This dialogue did not take place last year because of the 73-day standoff at Doklam from June 16 when China tried to build a road in Southern Doklam region to Jampheri ridge. Also Read - Viral Video: Chinese Toddlers Running to Hug as COVID-19 Quarantine Ends Sets Best Friends Across The Globe Relating
The standoff ended when Chinese troops stopped the road construction and both the sides worked to improve relations, leading up to the informal Wuhan summit where PM Narendra Modi met China President Xi Jinping in April. Also Read - China Reports 42 New Covid-19 Cases, Begins Re-testing Recovered Patients Amid ‘Rebound’ Fears
The defence dialogue would be followed by the 21st round of border talks between the Special Representatives of the two countries in the Chinese city of Dujiangyan on November 23-24. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi are the designated Special Representatives for the border talks.
Meanwhile, both sides have agreed on specific defence exchanges for 2019. “Both sides agreed to enhance exchanges and interactions through reciprocal high-level visits between the two ministries of defence as well as between military commands, joint training exercises, mutual visits by defence personnel including mid-level and cadet officers were also agreed upon,” the Indian Embassy’s press release reportedly said.
“Both sides underlined the importance of this dialogue as an important mechanism between the two countries for consultations on defence and security matters. They emphasised the need to further strengthen military-to-military ties in order to strengthen political and strategic mutual trust between the two countries,” it said.