PLA confirms Chinese Defence Minister will visit India, joint drills to be expanded

first_imgChina’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has confirmed that the Chinese Defence Minister, General Wei Fenghe, will visit India “within this year”. The PLA also said that India and China had agreed to “enhance management and control along the border, to expand joint training and exercise at the tactical level, to strengthen cultural and sports interaction between border troops, and to maintain peace and stability in border areas together.”The visit by General Wei was announced by the Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, in Beijing on Thursday.This will be the second high-level military visit from China this year. From July 2 to 6, Lieutenant General Liu Xiaowu, Deputy Commander of the PLA Western Theater Command, led the first military delegation to visit India following the Doklam stand-off, which was disengaged on August 28 after 72 days.Defence exchanges had been suspended by China following the stand-off, but both sides agreed to resume stalled exchanges in December when Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Delhi.Prime Minister Modi and President Xi both stressed the importance of the military to military communication during the April 28 summit in Wuhan and agreed to issue “strategic guidance” to their militaries to maintain peace on the border.On this month’s visit of Lieutenant General Liu, the PLA spokesperson said: “During the visit, Liu talked and met with relevant leaders of the Army, the East Theater Command and its affiliated troops of the Indian Armed Forces. The two sides agreed to implement the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, to enhance management and control along the border, to expand joint training and exercise at the tactical level, to strengthen cultural and sports interaction between border troops, and to maintain peace and stability in border areas together.”advertisementALSO READ | China says Modi, Xi agree on ‘top-level design’ to boost tieslast_img read more