Monday, February 24, 2014

India, China to kickstart high-level talks with defence parleys

India and China are set to hold a number of high-level dialogues this year on a host of issues, including defence, economic and strategic matters,
to improve bilateral ties. Deputy Chief of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Wang Guanzhong will hold annual Defence Dialogue with the Indian Defence Secretary R K Mathur in New Delhi on Monday on issues concerning the defence forces including exchanges, training and joint military exercises.
The talks are expected to cover defence exchanges, joint military exercises as well as steps to increase confidence building measures between the two forces in the light of the signing of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) last year to avoid repetition of incursions by Chinese troops in the Depsang Valley in Ladakh region. The two countries held third round of military exercises last year after a gap of five years. This year's exercises are due to be held in India.  The Defence Dialogue is taking place in the backdrop of 17th round of border talks held in New Delhi headed by National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and China's State Councillor Yang Jiechi.
The two countries would also hold the annual Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in Beijing on 18th to 19th March.  Deputy Chief of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia would head the Indian delegation at the talks, officials said.  The SED which discuses economic and trade relations between the two countries would cover issues like enhancing cooperation in important sectors such as infrastructure and high-technology, handling of the present global economic situation, cooperation in international monetary and financial systems, global commodity markets, sustainable development and climate change.
The two countries are also finalising dates for the annual Strategic Dialogue, an informal talks mechanism that covered a vast areas of mutual interest to be held between top officials of the foreign ministries of both the countries.
China–India relations
China–India relations, also called Sino-Indian relations or Indo-China relations, refers to the bilateral relationship between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of India. Historically, India and China have had relations for more than 2,000 years but modern relationship began in 1950 when India was among the first countries to end formal ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and recognize the PRC as the legitimate government of Mainland China. China and India are two most populous countries and fastest growing major economies in the world. The resultant growth in China and India's international diplomatic and economic influence has also increased the significance of their bilateral relationship.
China and India are two of the world’s oldest civilisations and have co-existed in peace for millennia. Cultural and economic relations between China and India date back to ancient times. The Silk Road not only served as a major trade route between India and China, but is also credited for facilitating the spread of Buddhism from India to East Asia. During the 19th century, China's growing opium trade with the British Raj triggered the Opium Wars. During World War II, India and China played a crucial role in halting the progress of Imperial Japan.
Relations between contemporary China and India have been characterised by border disputes, resulting in three major military conflicts — the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Chola incident in 1967, and the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish. However, since the late 1980s, both countries have successfully attempted to reignite diplomatic and economic ties. In 2008, China emerged as India's largest trading partner and the two countries have also attempted to extend their strategic and military relations.
Despite growing economic and strategic ties, there are several hurdles for India and the PRC to overcome in order to establish favourable relations. Though bilateral trade has continuously grown, India faces massive trade imbalance heavily in favour of China[dubious – discuss]. The two countries have failed to resolve their long-standing border dispute and Indian media outlets have repeatedly reported Chinese military incursions into Indian territory. Both nations have steadily established heavy military infrastructure along border areas. Additionally, India remains wary about China's strong strategic relations with Pakistan while China has expressed concerns about Indian military and economic activities in the disputed South China Sea.
In June 2012, China stated its position that "Sino-Indian ties" could be the most "important bilateral partnership of the century". That month Wen Jiabao, the Premier of China and Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India set a goal to increase bilateral trade between the two countries to US$100 billion by 2015. In November 2012, the bilateral trade was estimated to be $73.9 billion.