China seeks better military ties with India
BEIJING—China said Tuesday it hopes to boost military cooperation with India as the two Asian powerhouses resume defense ties that were frozen for a year over a visa dispute.
An Indian military delegation arrived in the Chinese capital on Sunday for a six-day visit that is expected to include a trip to the restive northwestern region of Xinjiang, Indian officials have told Agence France-Presse.
“The military exchange is an important part of China-India relations,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular briefing.
“China would like to make considerable effort with the Indian side to enhance exchange and cooperation between the two militaries.”
India suspended military exchanges in July last year after Beijing refused to provide a proper stamped visa to the then head of India’s Northern Army Command, which controls the region of Indian Kashmir.
China controls a sliver of Kashmir and regards the region, which is also split with Pakistan, as disputed territory. India has been angered by its practice of providing special stapled visas for visitors from Indian Kashmir.
Major General Gurmeet Singh, who is leading the eight-member delegation, heads the Delta Force, part of a specialized anti-insurgency unit deployed in Kashmir.
Suspicion pervades relations between the two Asian giants amid border disputes over Kashmir and the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
The two also fought a short war in 1962, while the presence in India of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, adds to the tension.
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