China wants to develop military ties with India to boost mutual trust: Defence Ministry

BEIJING: China is discussing with India a visit by Chinese border forces to build trust on their disputed frontier, China’s defence ministry said on Thursday, as the neighbours seek to reset ties following a summit between their leaders.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed in April to open a new chapter in ties, just months after a dispute over a stretch of their high-altitude Himalayan border rekindled fears of war.

China wants to develop military ties with India to boost mutual trust and manage differences, Chinese defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang told a monthly news briefing.

The two countries were in talks for a visit to India by a delegation of Chinese border forces, he added, without giving details.

Such exchanges can help “strengthen border management and control and further mutual trust between front-line forces”, Ren said.

Hundreds of troops from both sides were deployed in 2017 on the Doklam plateau, near the borders of India, its ally Bhutan, and China after India objected to Chinese construction of a road in the Himalayan area in their most serious standoff in years.

There is still deep mistrust between the neighbours over their festering border dispute, which triggered a brief war in 1962.

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