India, China discuss preparations for joint army exercise

New Delhi, March 22 : India and China Friday discussed preparations for the third joint army exercise to be held this year and also agreed to finalise the plan for bilateral exchanges between the armed forces of the two countries.

Deputy Chief of General Staff of People's Liberation Army Lt Gen Qi Jianguo met Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma here.

Lt Gen Qi, accompanied by an eight-member delegation, also called on Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

According to an official release, Lt Gen Qi conveyed to Antony that the new leadership in China attached "high priority to cooperative relations with India in all spheres".

The general's two-day visit is a follow-up of the meeting between him and Sharma in January during the annual defence dialogue between the two countries.

During the meeting, both sides agreed to finalise the plan of bilateral exchanges between the armed forces of India and China.

"It has been decided that exchanges will be conducted between the armies, navies and air forces on both sides. Both sides also discussed preparations for the third joint army exercise, scheduled in China this year," the release said.

It said implementation of measures to ensure continued peace along the Line of Actual Control was also discussed.

"It was agreed that the strengthening of exchanges between the armed forces should be carried out as a way of building mutual trust and confidence and consistent with the overall bilateral relationship between both countries," it said.

Sharma and Lt Gen Qi also discussed regional security issues.

--IANS (Posted on 22-03-2013)

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