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Chinese defence minister's visit to India will enhance military trust: State media

Defence minister and state councilor Wei met Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday soon after beginning his four-day visit.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2018 14:29 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
Wei Fenghe,china's defence minister in India,Fenghe meets Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with China’s defence minister, General Wei Fenghe, during a meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. (PTI)

Chinese defence minister, Wei Fenghe’s ongoing “landmark” visit to India will strengthen bilateral military ties and enhance trust, China’s state media has said, adding it will help in implementing the Wuhan consensus reached between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping.

Defence minister and state councilor Wei met Modi in New Delhi on Tuesday soon after beginning his four-day visit.

Wei said he believed that his visit would help implement the consensus reached between leaders of the two countries, deepen military and security exchanges and cooperation, and build mutual trust.

“The two countries should jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in border area so as to contribute to a closer development partnership,” Wei was quoted by official news agency, Xinhua as saying.

“The visit marks the comprehensive recovery of ties between China and India after the Doklam standoff last year,” Qian Feng from the Beijing-based National Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University told the Global Times.“The establishment of a mutual military trust mechanism is likely to be an important topic at the talks,” Qian noted. “The two sides will expand cooperation and manage disputes so that the overall situation between the two countries will not be affected before the border issue is fully resolved,” Qian added.

Ma Jiali, an expert on Sino-Indian affairs and a director at China Reform Forum, told the state-controlled China Daily newspaper that the positive development in Sino-Indian military relations and overall ties will continue, and the two countries will also likely resume their seventh “Hand-in-Hand” joint military exercises later this year.

If China and India can finally create a hotline between the two militaries, which has been in the pipeline for some time, “it will further improve communication, reduce misunderstandings and misjudgments, and prevent border conflicts,” Li Li, south Asia expert at Tsinghua University's Institute of International Relations, said.

A single visit, however, will not smoothen the complicated ties between China and India, said Ye Hailin, a south Asian expert from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

First Published: Aug 22, 2018 14:29 IST