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India-China to hold joint military exercise soon


April 13, 2011 - New Delhi

India-China defence exchanges are on track and both the countries would soon be expanding their relationship in this sphere, with holding of joint military exercise after a gap of almost three years, according to top government sources.

The indications of India and China holding joint military and naval exercises in 2011 emerged on the eve of the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

High-level military exchanges between the two countries were suspended after the then Northern Army Commander Lt. General BS Jaswal was given a visa on a loose sheet because he was serving in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, defence contacts like border flag meeting had always been maintained and the suspension of high level defence exchange with china was a temporary move, sources indicated.

The first bilateral army exercise between the two countries was organized in Kunming China in late 2007. The last joint army exercise was held in India in December 2008.

On the stapled visa issue, the sources noted that there was some movement but India will have to wait and watch how things evolve.

The issue of stapled visa continues to remain a major irritant in Sino-Indian relationship. Visa issue was raised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao visited India last year.

Jiabao assured India that China would solve the sensitive issue soon and urged officials of the two countries to put their heads together to find a solution.

In fact, in a positive move China has issued normal visas to four Indian journalists born in Jammu and Kashmir. India has also been quietly working with China to solve outstanding disputes and prefers to wait and watch on what course China adopts on the issue.

The Indian Prime Minister, who is visiting coastal town of Sanya to attend BRICS summit, would be meeting Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday to review the progress in the relationship and are expected to discuss all the complex issues pertaining to thaw in relationship between the two countries.

ANI

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