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India, China should build on Antony's visit: China

India and China have the opportunity to expand strategic ties and work towards maintaining peace and tranquility along the disputed border between the two countries, China said on Monday. Sutirtho Patranobis reports.

world Updated: Jul 08, 2013 19:01 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

India and China have the opportunity to expand strategic ties and work towards maintaining peace and tranquility along the disputed border between the two countries, China said on Monday.

Reacting to defence minister, AK Antony’s just-concluded visit, the foreign ministry said the visit had opened up a window of opportunity for the two neighbours to enhance “strategic cooperative partnership.”

Foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, said China paid “high attention’’ to Antony's visit as he held discussions with Premier Li Keqiang, defence minister General Cheng Wanquang and State Councillor and Special Representative on India-China border talks, Yang Jiechi.

“The two sides exchanged views on defence issues and reiterated that they will enhance defence exchanges with the purpose of maintaining peace and tranquility of the border areas and create durable conditions for the China and India strategic cooperative partnership,” Hua told the regular media briefing.

She added: “We hope that in future the two sides will take Antony's visit as an opportunity to enhance military-to- military interaction, jointly maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas and create favourable environment and conditions for the enhancement China and India strategic and cooperative partnership.”

“We emphasise that the two militaries enhance coordination and cooperation and direct the relevant departments to enhance work in this regard,” she said answering a question on the outcome of Antony's visit.

The two sides also agreed to continue discuss the draft of the India-China Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA), she said.

Antony said the talks were positive and there was consensus on most BDCA provisions.

Proposed by China, the BDCA aims to set up mechanisms that aid consultations and communication between both the countries to improve management of border. The aim is to prevent the recurrence of incidents like the one at Depsang valley in April when Chinese troops pitched tents on Indian territory.