India, China agree to expand military ties after defence talks
NEW DELHI: India and China have agreed to expand their military ties and enhance interaction to ensure peace on their common border, India said after a meeting between the old rivals' defence ministers.
Relations between the Asian giants were strained last year over a 73-day military face-off in a remote, high-altitude stretch of their disputed Himalayan border.
But the neighbours have over recent months been working on mending ties and visiting Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week that their countries' friendship dated back to ancient times.
On Thursday (Aug 23), Wei had extensive discussions with his Indian counterpart, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Indian government said.
"It was decided to expand the engagement between their armed forces relating to training, joint exercises and other professional interactions," the government said in a statement issued late on Thursday.
The ministers also discussed their border and agreed to implement "confidence building measures" to ensure the maintenance of peace, including the early operationalisation of a hotline between their armed forces, India said.