India and China have discussed a range of issues, including joint training to enhance the confidence between the two militaries.
An Indian Army spokesman termed the meeting between chief of the Indian Army’s Northern Command Lt. General Ranbir Singh and Chinese ground forces commander General Han Weiguo as historic.
Lt. General Singh's visit is the second-ever by a Northern Army commander to China, earlier being in 2015, said Lt. Col. Abhinav Navneet, the Udhampur-based Army Public Relation Officer (Defence) in a statement.
“The visit would serve as a milestone by cementing mutual ties… This will achieve the twin aims of high level military cooperation and stabilising the sensitive borders of both the countries", the defence spokesman said.
The two generals discussed issues having strategic ramifications, including the regional security environment, joint training, and measures to enhance peace and tranquillity along the borders, he added.
ARMY COMMANDER NORTHERN COMMAND LEADS MILITARY DELEGATION TO CHINA #LtGenRanbirSingh, #ArmyCdrNC interacted with #GenHanWeiguo, Commander PLA Ground Force; exchanged views on measures to further enhance peace & tranquility along the borders. @adgpi@EOIBeijing@SpokespersonMoD pic.twitter.com/MGC7Cvegbo— NorthernComd.IA (@NorthernComd_IA) January 8, 2020
The Indian and Chinese sides noted a marked increase in mutual coordination between the armies of both the countries and a will to foster friendly relations between them.
Lt. General Ranbir Singh, the Northern Army commander, who looks after the contested Chinese border in the Ladakh sector, is on a strategically significant five-day visit to China.
He is leading a high-level military delegation that will hold talks with top generals of China’s People's Liberation Army. The commander will visit vital military and civil establishments in Beijing, Chengdu, Urumqi, and Shanghai.
The meeting holds importance as Indian Army chief General M.M. Naravane on 1 January expressed hope that maintaining peace and tranquillity along the Chinese border will help arrive at an "eventual solution".
China had been emphasising an “early harvest” solution as an important step ahead of a final settlement of the border question. China reportedly wants to settle the middle sector of the border (Himachal Pradesh to Sikkim), where the dispute is perceived as minor compared to the eastern sectors (Arunachal Pradesh). “The two sides are actively exploring the specific contents of realising the early harvest”, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in an interview to the Hindustan Times daily.
India and China share a nearly 4,000 km border, most of which is disputed, including Arunachal Pradesh, which China calls South Tibet.