13:41 GMT +317 December 2018
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    Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh speaks during a news conference.

    Armies Maintain Defense Exchanges as Sino-Indian Political Ties Skid

    © REUTERS / Anindito Mukherjee
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    India and China have maintained the tempo of defense exchanges although their political ties are at low ebb. The Indian army chief’s visit to China contrasts with differences on South China Sea, NSG, One Belt One Road and territory.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Army Chief's visit to China has acquired an added importance due to the frosty political relations between the two Asian giants.

    The Indian Army Chief General Dalbir Singh on Monday held discussions with his Chinese counterpart General Li Zuocheng. These talks coincided with the sixth India-China Joint Army Training Exercise currently underway in India.

    The two armies have also maintained civility on the border by greeting each other on festivals and interacting on designated days. On the other hand, the foreign offices have sparred over the US envoy in India visiting Arunachal Pradesh that China claims is Lower Tibet, the block on India's entry into the coveted Nuclear Suppliers' Group and China's plan for a spur of the One Belt One Road that will pass through parts of Kashmir under Pakistani control.

    But the Indian Army chief was given access to General Xu Qiliang, Vice Chairman of the powerful China Military Commission headed by President Xi Jinpeng. Both of them wanted to keep up the momentum of defense exchanges and ensure the borders are tranquil and peaceful, said a statement from the Indian Ministry of Defense said.

    General Singh will also visit key Chinese military installations in Xian and Nanjing and also interact with the chief of Chinese forces facing India, General Liu Yuejun.

    The visit coincides with the joint military exercise that aims to share expertise in drills and practices while tackling insurgency and terrorism.


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