India for better military ties with China: Pranab
The interaction between the Indian and Chinese ground forces has been confined to border bonhomie meetings and mountaineering expeditions.india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 17:27 IST
Proposing new initiatives to build further confidence in ties, India is seeking larger interaction with the Chinese armed forces by scaling-up the level of joint exercises and training programmes.
"My efforts will be to have much larger participation in joint military exercises, more exchange of visits by armed forces personnel and an expanded mutual training programme," Pranab Mukherjee, who embarks on his first visit as Defence Minister to China early next month, said on Friday.
Though India and Chinese navies have held two rounds of joint naval manoeuvres of substantive content, the interaction between the ground forces has been confined to border bonhomie meetings and mountaineering expeditions. There has been no air force to air force contact.
Now apparently, Mukherjee wants to break the ice by proposing greater military-to military interaction, even as top emissaries continue to sit across to resolve the boundary dispute across the Himalayan frontier.
"We have developed relationship with China politically, economically and commercially....These all-round developments, I think, should also be reflected in defence cooperation," Mukherjee said.