Recurring incidents of incursions, implementation of an agreement to reduce tensions between border patrols and Sino-India strategic concerns were among the issues expected to figure in Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s talks with top Chinese military officials tomorrow.
Parrikar, who arrived here from Shanghai by a special aircraft, will hold talks with Chinese Defence Minister General Chang Wanquan, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) General Fan Changlong and others.
CMC which is the supreme commanding body of the 2.3 million strong People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is headed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Parrikar will call on Premier Li Keqiang. Later, he would visit China’s recently integrated western command military headquarters which has jurisdiction over border with India.
The minister is accompanied by senior officials from army and navy, besides the defence ministry.
While Indian officials said the talks were expected to review the whole gamut of bilateral ties which showed considerable improvements in the recent times, India’s concerns over aggressive patrolling by Chinese troops especially in the Ladakh sector remained high.
China denies any incursions, asserting that its troops patrolled areas of its territory in the 3,488-km long disputed border.
The two countries may discuss further modalities of the 2013 Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) which has outlined various measures to address tensions arising out of the aggressive patrolling by both sides.
India and China also conduct an annual dialogue of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination to deal with aggressive patrolling by troops.
It helped to bring down tensions over Chinese incursions during the key visits of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in 2013 followed by President Xi Jinping a year later.
Both sides opened several border points for troops and officers on the ground to interact with each other to build good relations.
Recent reports from India spoke of the presence of Chinese troops in the forward positions of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) which People’s Liberation Army (PLA) dismissed as “groundless”.
The two militaries also have strategic concerns over each other’s military tie-ups with other countries and development of their militaries.
Ahead of Parrikar’s visit, China hinted that it may take up the recent decision by India to open up military bases to US for logistics and efforts to conclude a pact to share aircraft sharing technologies.