As both countries agreed to enhance military exchanges and interactions, top officials of India and China held the ninth Annual Defence and Security Dialogue in Beijing after a one-year break due to the Doklam standoff.
The dialogue on November 13 was held between the two defence delegations headed by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and China’s Deputy Chief of Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission.
A press release by the Indian Embassy in Beijing on Thursday said that during the talks both sides agreed on enhancing defence exchanges and interactions at different levels between the two militaries. After the talks, Mr. Mitra called on Chinese State Councilor and Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe, the release said.
Mr. Mitra was accompanied by senior officials of the ministry of defence and Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.
The annual dialogue did not take place last year following the 73-day tense standoff between the two militaries at Doklam, which was triggered by the Chinese PLA’s plan to build a road close to the narrow Chicken’s Neck corridor connecting India’s North-Eastern States in an area also claimed by Bhutan besides China.
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The standoff ended when Chinese troops stopped the road construction after which both countries stepped up efforts to normalise relations leading to the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at Wuhan in April this year.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi are the designated Special Representatives for the border talks.
Besides efforts to work out a solution to resolve the boundary dispute spanning 3,488 km, the border talks also focused on discussions on other aspects of India-China relations.
Also the two militaries are due to hold the annual ‘Hand-in-Hand’ drills next month in China after gap of one year.
During the dialogue, both sides also agreed on specific defence exchanges for 2019.