India, China Hold Talks in Beijing on Defence and Security

Top officials of India and China held the ninth Annual Defence and Security Dialogue in Beijing after a one-year gap due to the Doklam standoff. Both countries agreed to enhance military exchanges and interactions.

The dialogue on November 13 was held between the two defense delegations headed by defense secretary Sanjay Mitra and China’s deputy chief of Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission.

At the talks, both sides agreed on enhancing defense exchanges and interactions at different levels between the two militaries, a press release by the Indian Embassy in Beijing.

The annual dialogue did not take place last year following the 73-day tense standoff between the two militaries at Doklam, which was triggered by the Chinese PLA’s plan to build a road close to the narrow ‘Chicken’s Neck’ corridor connecting India’s northeastern states in an area also claimed by Bhutan besides China.

The standoff ended when Chinese troops stopped the road construction after which both countries stepped up efforts to normalize relations leading to the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at Wuhan in April this year.

The defense dialogue was also held ahead of the 21st round of border talks between the special representatives of the two countries in the Chinese city of Dujiangyan on November 23-24.

National security advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese state councilor and foreign minister Wang Yi are the designated special representatives for the border talks.

Besides efforts to work out a solution to resolve the boundary dispute spanning 3,488 km, the border talks also focussed on discussions on other aspects of India-China relations.

The two militaries are due to hold the annual ‘Hand-in-Hand’ drills next month in China after a one-year gap.

During the dialogue, both sides also agreed on specific defense exchanges for 2019.

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