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China’s PLA wants to advance defence ties with India: policy paper


A file photo.

BEIJING (PTI): The Chinese military Thursday said it is working to advance its ties with the defence forces of India, even as it intends to strengthen its already "multi-dimensional" relationship with the Pakistani military.

In a 41-page "white paper" outlining the policies and perceptions of world's largest standing military of 2.3 million personnel, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said it intends to work at building trust with its neighbouring countries.

"China has strengthened military relations with its neighbouring countries," said the PLA policy paper.

"It conducts friendly exchanges with the DPRK (North Korea) and the ROK (South Korea) militaries, attaches importance to Sino-Japanese defence exchanges, strengthens multi-dimensional Sino-Pakistani military exchanges and cooperation, works to advance the Sino-Indian military relationship," the paper released to the media by its top military brass said.

While PLA shares very close strategic links with its all-weather ally Pakistan, it has also in the recent past tried to enhance ties with the Indian military as part of wider attempts to improve overall relations between the two countries.

The process suffered a reverse last year after India, in response to the denial of visa by China to its top General B S Jaswal on the ground that he headed troops in Jammu and Kashmir, which it regards as disputed territory. He was to come to Beijing to attend a bilateral meeting.

Following this, India called off its defence exchanges with PLA, even though Chinese Defence Ministry continues to maintain that its military ties with India were intact.

The issue was expected to figure in next month's meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) at the Chinese island of Sanya.

China had also promised to review its policy to issue stapled visas to residents of J and K.

Besides this, the paper, which is issued every year said China faced an increasingly "volatile" Asian region, in the backdrop of attempts by US to expand its footprints.

"Profound changes are taking shape in the Asia-Pacific strategic landscape. Relevant major powers are increasing their strategic investment... The United States is reinforcing its regional military alliances and increasing its involvement in regional security affairs. Suspicion about China, interference and countering moves against China from the outside are on the increase," it said.

It reiterated that China's national defence policy is "defensive" in nature and said the pursuit of such a national defence policy is determined by China's development path.

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China  India  PLA  defence  

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