Indian Army Delegation to Visit China

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New Delhi: A senior Indian Army delegation, led by Northern Command chief Lt-General D S Hooda, will be visiting the China next week to step up bilateral military engagements and exchanges to boost confidence building measures (CBMs) along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The two poewrful countries are expected to discuss practical measures for “managing” troop confrontations and strengthening mechanisms along the LAC. “The visit from December 14 to 19 is aimed at greater cooperation between the two forces in areas of mutual interest,” said an official.

“The delegation will exchange views on measures to usher in greater peace and tranquility along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh / Xingjiang province of China. It will interact and exchange views with senior PLA officers, as also visit various military and civil establishments in China including PLA headquarters at Beijing and Lanzhou military region,” he added.

Interestingly, it was in July 2010 that India had frozen all bilateral military exchanges after Red dragon denied a proper visa to the then Northern Army commander Lt-General B S Jaswal on the ground that he was commanding forces in the “disputed and sensitive” region of J&K.

The visit also comes at a time when China is undertaking a major restructuring of its 2.3 million-strong PLA to make it more combat-ready and mobile, which will see all armed forces come under a joint operational military command and regrouping of the existing seven military regions into four strategic zones.

The Indian Eastern Army Command till now was faced by the Chinese Chengdu Military Region, while it was the Northern Command facing the Lanzhou Military Region in the north. Now, the entire Indian front from Ladakh to Arunachal will be handled by one Chinese entity, the new West Zone.

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