China and India have agreed to resume joint military exercises after a four-year suspension, Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony says. "We have decided that (to restart military exercises)," Antony told reporters after his meeting with his Chinese counterpart General Liang Guanglie in the Indian capital, New Delhi, on Tuesday. New Delhi and Beijing suspended joint military drills in 2008 after a series of diplomatic quarrels. "We covered a lot about the situation in the South Asia, Asia-Pacific region and we have covered a lot of issues," Antony said, referring to the topics brought up during the meeting. "We had a very frank and heart-to-heart discussion on all the issues... including in the border areas," he added. The two nations went to war over a disputed Himalayan border in 1962, and have since then held 14 rounds of talks to settle their territorial disputes.
The Chinese defense minister also said that the two neighboring states reached an agreement to increase military cooperation."We have reached a consensus on high-level visits and exchange of personnel, maritime security... and cooperation between the two navies," Guanglie said. "I had candid and practical discussion with the [Indian] defense minister," he added. Guanglie arrived in India on Sunday for a four-day visit, the first of its kind in eight years. DB/HJL