Despite the indefinite postponement of India-China Special Representative (SR) dialogue over the Dalai Lama controversy, New Delhi and Beijing have decided to ride over the diplomatic hump and are expected to hold the bilateral high-level defence dialogue on December 8-9.
Government sources said that an advance liaison team of the Chinese Peoples' Liberation Army has already visited Delhi in the past fortnight and deputy chief of general staff general Ma Xiaotian will interact with his Indian counterpart defence decretary Shashi Kant Sharma on December 9 and meet defence minister AK Antony.
While the last such interaction took place in 2010, the two sides will resume normal relationship with basic joint defence exercises and army-to-army interaction on the anvil.
However, the Chinese side may raise the issue of Indian Navy warships in South China Sea in the context of Beijing's territorial waters claim before the UN Law of Seas filed in March 2010. New Delhi, on its part, has stuck to its rights to international waters.
While both sides are now trying to downplay the postponement of SR dialogue on boundary and other issues, the fact is that China approached New Delhi around a fortnight ago and raised the red flag over Buddhist conference.
With central leadership in Beijing the concerned about the domestic fall-out of self-immolations particularly in Kirti monastery, the Chinese mission in Delhi escalated the matter by pointing out to the Buddhist conference on November 27-30, 2011 and in effect scuttled the talks.
However, New Delhi has pointed out to Beijing that a mere invitation to the summit does not mean that the Indian leadership will be present there.