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India, China revive defence exchanges

June 16, 2011 - New Delhi

As decided during Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's visit to China in April this year, India and China have finally resumed defence exchanges after a hiatus of more than one year.

An eight-member delegation led by Major General Gurmeet Singh, who is based in Jammu and Kashmir, and is the commander of delta force, will be visiting Chinese capital Beijing and Urumchi from June 19 to 24.

India had put defence exchanges with China on hold since last year after the then head of Northern Command BS Jaswal was issued stapled visa by the Chinese authorities.

Jaswal was refused normal visa on the ground that he was serving in Jammu and Kashmir, which China regards as a disputed territory.

According to official sources, all the members of the military delegation visiting China this year were issued normal visas.

India takes strong objection to the issuance of staple visas by Chinese authorities on the basis of domicile and does regard it as 'illegitimate'.

The Indian authorities have time and again taken up the issue with China and New Delhi believes that issuance of staple visa is infringement of India's territorial integrity.

There has been regular defence exchanges between India and China before the denial of normal visa to northern command chief.

The two nations conducted their first joint military exercise in Kumming in China inecember 2007 and the second exercise took place at the Belguam commando school in Karnataka in December 2008.

The joint exercises were not conducted in 2009 and 2010.

The decision to resume defence exchanges was taken during the meeting between.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao on the margins of BRICS summit at Sanya in April this year. By Naveen Kapoor


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