Army Chief In China On Visit To Build Trust


Beijing: India’s Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag will hold key talks with the People’s Liberation Army leadership in Beijing on Monday as both sides look to build trust and address issues along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC).

He will meet with the PLA Chief of Joint Staff General Fang Fenghui, and also call on the Vice Chairman of the elite Central Military Commission, General Fan Changlong. The CMC is headed by President Xi Jinping.

“This is a goodwill visit aimed to send a positive message and to keep communication lines open despite differences,” an official told India Today.

During his November 21-24 China visit, the army chief will also visit the PLA’s eastern theater command in Nanjing, as well as the Nanjing army command college that trains senior officers. He will also visit military installations including an infantry division and army air defence brigades.

An official statement said the four-day visit “is an opportunity to re-engage PLA in field of defence cooperation and build upon existing mutual cooperation and trust between the two nations”.

“The visit aims at engaging China on subjects of mutual concern and shared interest, which include terrorism, humanitarian assistance and peace keeping training,” the statement said. “This visit comes amidst growing stronger economic and military ties between the emerging Asian giants and follows high level diplomatic and military exchanges between the two neighbours.”

The visit coincides with the annual ongoing “Hand in Hand” annual joint military exercise currently underway in Pune. A top PLA General Zhao Zongqi, who heads the key western theater command that borders India, will visit India in the second week of December.