India, China to exchange military visits to give boost to CBMs

China’s Lanzhou Military Region Commander Liu Yuejun is expected to pay reciprocal visit to New Delhi including Northern Command in Jammu and Kashmir after visit of Northern Army Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda to Beijing and Lanzhou for six days that began today.
Heading eight members high level delegation of the Northern Command including one Major General, two Brigadiers and four Colonels, Lt Gen Hooda reached Beijing this evening and was welcomed by top officials of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Official sources that though the Northern Army Commander will meet PLA chief Gen Fang Fenghui, Lanzhou Military Region head Liu Yuejun and other top Commanders, defence experts and some senior leaders of Chinese Government during his six days visit, there was broad agreement between the two nations that Yuejun will pay reciprocal visit to India next year during which he would visit New Delhi including the Army Headquarters and Northern Command besides meeting political leadership of the country.
The Lanzhou Military Region of China is very significant for India as it was one of the seven military regions of China as it directs military and armed police forces in Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia and Shaanxi besides Ali area of Northwest Tibet. Some of these regions fall opposite Ladakh sector while Xinjiang has, of late, started facing militancy.
Sources said India and China were expected to reach broad understanding during six days visit of the Indian Army delegation to boost Confidence Building Measures between the two countries and put in place mechanism to ensure that there were no incursions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China till the two countries resolve their long pending boundary disputes arising out of non-demarcation of the LAC.
Sources said the Indian military delegation during their meeting with PLA Commanders and Chinese leadership and defence experts were likely to work out sound mechanism to avoid incursions in Ladakh and other parts of the LAC and maintain peace and tranquility.
China and India in recent years have held very frequent interaction at the Government level. In response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited China in May this year. During the just-concluded East Asian Cooperation leaders’ meeting, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Modi also had close interaction.
“However, due to historical reasons and other aspects of the status quo between the two countries in military exchanges has been slow, but they will get a boost after the visit of Indian Army delegation to China followed by Lanzhou Military region commander to India next year.
Sources said the two sides could discuss setting up of hotline contact between Northern Army Commander and Lanzhou Military Region Commander to settle the disputes arising out of any incursions along the LAC in Ladakh sector.
In addition to this, the two sides would also discuss opening of more Border Meeting Points (BMPs) in Ladakh sector. A new BMP was opened this year in Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) sector taking total number of BMPs in Leh to two. The previous meeting point was Chushul.
Barring two (one each in 2014 and 2015), no major incursions have been reported from the PLA in Leh sector during the past two years. Both the incursions were resolved at local level within few days. Indian troops this year had gone aggressive and demolished surveillance camera installed by the PLA on Indian side of the LAC.
Admitting that most of the disputes between Indian Army and PLA arose due to result of un-demarcated boundary between the two sides, sources pointed out that the talks between military officials of India and China would focus on working out a mechanism to ensure peace and tranquility on the LAC and resolve disputes, if any, on spot between the local Army Commanders.

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