India, China to work on border issue, defence cooperation

Beijing, Oct 23 (IANS) China and India will continue their efforts to explore a framework for the settlement of the border issue, according to a joint statement issued here Wednesday.

The joint statement, 'A Vision for Future Development of China-India Strategic and Cooperative Partnership', was issued amid Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's official visit to China, Xinhua reported.

Special representatives, who have been charged with exploring a framework of settlement of the China-India boundary question, were encouraged by the two leaders to continue their efforts in that direction, the statement said.

Peace and tranquility on the China-India border was recognised as an important guarantor for the development and continued growth of bilateral relations, it added.

Building on previous agreements signed in 1993, 1996 and 2005 that recognise the principle of mutual and equal security, the two countries signed a Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, according to the statement.

The agreement will strengthen maintenance of stability on the border, it said.

The two countries will also further promote cooperation on defence exchanges and military exercises, as they will hold a counter-terrorism exercise in November 2013.

Defence exchanges and military exercises are important in building greater trust and confidence, the statement said, adding that the holding of the counter-terrorism exercise underlines the shared desire of both governments to enhance mutual understanding.

Exchanges and visits agreed upon by the defence ministers of the two countries in July 2013 will be implemented step by step, it said.

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