India, China to Resume Military Exercises

Posted September 4th, 2012 at 6:20 am (UTC-5)
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India and China have agreed to resume joint military exercises, as the two neighbors take steps to reduce mistrust and improve relations.

Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony announced the resumption of military ties Tuesday, following talks with his Chinese counterpart, Liang Guanglie, in New Delhi.

Following two rounds of military exercises in 2007 and 2008, India suspended a third round following a dispute over Beijing's denial of a visa to an Indian general.

Antony on Tuesday called the discussions with his Chinese counterpart fruitful. Liang told reporters the two countries had also agreed to hold high-level official exchanges and boost security cooperation between their navies.

Liang's visit to India, the first by a Chinese defense minister in eight years, also focused on resolving the countries' long-standing Himalayan border dispute.

For decades, Beijing has also claimed an entire Indian state, Arunachal Pradesh, labeling it on maps as “southern Tibet.” India and China have held at least 14 rounds of talks on the issue and fought a brief border war in 1962.

Beijing has also long objected to New Delhi granting asylum to the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet following a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

Liang arrived in India after a visit to Sri Lanka. India has long been wary of what it sees as China's push to increase its sphere of influence with involvement in countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Despite tensions, trade between two of the world's foremost emerging economic powers is booming, with India and China looking to reach a goal of $100 billion in trade by 2015.