New Delhi (Sputnik) — India is scheduled to hold a maritime affairs dialogue with China and Russia very soon. According to government sources, the meetings with Russia and China will be held separately; with the China talks likely to come first.
"Dates for the dialogue with the Chinese officials are being finalized," an official who did not wish to be named said.
The maritime affairs dialogue comes amid speculations that Chinese naval forces have been threatening the Indian Navy's dominance in the Indian Ocean Region.
In a move to take engagements with China forward & expand on military contacts, India and China will hold bilateral maritime dialogue soon.— Virendra Bhatnagar (@BHATNAGARViren) July 5, 2018
"We have not been critical of Chinese posture. We just want rules-based order in the Indian Ocean. The Chinese president welcomed the speech by PM Modi at Shangri-La," an Indian official said on Wednesday.
Rebalancing Relations! India has proposed a maritime dialogue with China & Russia.This would be 2nd such dialogue with china.Visit of Chinese Defence Minister to India is also being worked out. PLA's western theatre command chief is already in India.@China_Amb_India@EOIBeijing pic.twitter.com/EpV1HnBvCV— Pranay Upadhyaya (@JournoPranay) July 4, 2018
The announcement to hold a second maritime affairs dialogue is in sync with the Wuhan declaration that was released after the informal meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in April this year.
"Both leaders agreed on a need to strengthen strategic communication through greater consultation on all matters of common interest. They believe that such strategic communication will have a positive influence on enhancing mutual understanding and will contribute to regional and global stability," the joint press release issued after the Wuhan informal summit read.
Meanwhile, Chinese Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe is soon expected in New Delhi to hold bilateral discussions with his Indian counterpart.
At present, a high-level Chinese People's Liberation Army delegation is currently touring India and is scheduled to meet the Indian Army's eastern command in Sukna, West Bengal. The primary agenda of the meeting will be the establishment of a hotline contact between the militaries of the two countries.