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China: Military Ties with India Improving

June 3, 2008

P. S. Suryanarayana
The Hindu (India)
June 1, 2008

SINGAPORE -- A high-ranking Chinese defence official on Saturday
affirmed that "the military-to-military relations between China and
India have been moving towards a good direction."

Beijing also appreciated New Delhi's "cooperative spirit" in the
political domain on the Tibet issue.

Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army
Lieutenant General Ma Xiaotian told The Hindu here, on the sidelines
of the seventh Asia Security Summit, that the two countries had
already struck a "positive" note about their recent defence exercise.
Joint training exercises

Lt. Gen. Ma, who earlier outlined "the future of East Asian security"
at the summit, being organised by the London-based International
Institute for Strategic Studies, said: "In recent years, the
mil-to-mil relations between China and India have been improving. The
two defence chiefs have already exchanged visits, and senior leaders
from the military forces also exchanged visits. Also, a good example
is that last year we had a joint training exercise between the two
Armies. I was then the head of the Chinese observation team, present
during a large part of the exercise, and the deputy chief of the
Indian Army also was there. We, both sides, gave a very positive
comment on the recent development of the mil-to-mil defence relations
between the two countries. It is our common, shared, aspiration to
step up this type of interaction and engagement to improve our
relations in the military field."

"Active support"

On the politically sensitive "issue of Tibet," he said: "We have
received positive, active, support from the Indian Government, either
it is about 'the Tibetan exile government's march movement' or the
Olympic torch relay."

In an emphatic tone, Lt. Gen. Ma said: "We appreciate very much the
cooperative spirit demonstrated by the Indian government. We hope
that starting and proceeding from the overall interests of the
bilateral relations between China and India, the Indian government
could do more in restricting the violent activities of those Tibetan
exiles or 'independent forces' in India."
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