New Delhi (Sputnik): India gave a ceremonial welcome to the Chinese defense minister and state councilor, Wei Fenghe, on his arrival in New Delhi for talks with his counterpart, Nirmala Sitharaman. The delegation level talks, which exceeded the schedule by more than an hour on Thursday, yielded more than anyone expected.
The State Councillor and Defence Minister, People’s Republic of China, General Wei Fenghe inspects Tri-Services Guard of Honour, in New Delhi pic.twitter.com/Ug4mRZDiPq— PIB India (@PIB_India) August 23, 2018
The two countries decided to expand "the engagement between their armed forces relating to training, joint exercises and other professional interactions," a statement by the Indian Defense Ministry read.
stops for a ship on its scheduled journey for unloading and loading of cargo or taking on supplies or fuel — a major step to building up trust, which has been marred by suspicion due to increased patrolling by Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean region in the past few years.
"The Indian Defense Minister also proposed that China should have more interactions among the chiefs of forces at regular intervals," according to sources.
The 27-member Chinese delegation consisted of key military officials, including Vice Chief of the Central Military Commission Air Marshal Dingqui Chang and Lieutenant General Guiqing Rong, vice commander of the Western Theatre Command, which handles the entire border with India.
Meeting between Ms Nirmala Sitharaman and General Wei Fenghe pragmatic step by step approach appears to be China and India's defence relations trajectory https://t.co/W5LxkScXD4 @adgpi @SpokespersonMoD @indiannavy @PTI_News @Chinarcorps_IA pic.twitter.com/6ssI3RhEky— SecurityRisksAsia (@SecRisksAsia) August 24, 2018
"Both sides also decided to work towards a new bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defense exchanges and cooperation to replace the MoU signed in 2006," the Indian Defense Ministry statement added.
India also conveyed to China that border area development activities should not be treated as suspicious — an idea that was aptly reciprocated by China.