BEIJING, Sept. 5 (Xinhuanet) -- For the first time in 8 years, a Chinese Defense Minister has visited India. The visit has resulted in plans to resume joint military exercises between the two countries. Both sides have also discussed many issues including the South China Sea and the border dispute.
The meeting between Defense Ministers Liang Guang-lie and A.K. Antony was aimed at building trust between two of the largest countries in the world.
Chinese Defense Minister General Liang Guanglie’s visit to India was the first in the last 8 years and when the two ministers came together to discuss defense ties; the world was watching.
All eyes were on the meeting between the Indian and the Chinese Defense Ministers as they came together after years to build trust among both the nations. The biggest takeaway though was the resumption of military exercises.
Joint military exercises were stopped in 2010 after both countries had visa issues and the resumption is indicative of trust building between the neighbors.
Ak Antony, Indian Defense Minister, said, "We had a very frank and heart-to-heart discussion on all the issues. We have discussed how to improve our relations in all spheres including the border areas. The Chinese defense minister has invited me to visit China. I have accepted the invitation for sometime next year."
The talks led to both sides agreeing on high level-official exchanges, training of armed forces personnel and maritime security cooperation. The talks will be taken forward when the two countries meet for the bilateral defense dialogue in November.
The two countries also discussed sensitive issues including improving border relations and the situation in South Asia and the Asia Pacific region.
Liang Guanglie, China’s Defense Minister, said, "We reached an agreement and consensus on exchange and cooperation between the two militaries in various fields, including the exchange of high level visits, the exchange of young officers and personnel training, and also intercollegiate exchanges in non-traditional security fields such as maritime security cooperation."
The two sides also talked about America’s look east policy which includes plans to shift a large part of its navy to Asia Pacific region and India’s take on the same.
As the world geo-political situation goes through a massive change, the coming together of the two largest countries that also have the strength of their economies could tilt balances.