China Perspective

Experts: Sino-Indian military ties to continue

By Ma Liyao (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-08-30 09:08
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BEIJING - Military ties between China and India are strong, and will never be compromised based on a minor incident, despite a recent report in the Indian media, according to experts.

Rong Ying, deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies said that relations and trust between the two countries are very powerful, and excoriated a national Indian newspaper for promoting sensationalism at the expense of the facts.

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Rong's statement is in response to the latest report on Friday by the Times of India - India's national English-language newspaper - asserting that New Delhi is severing military exchanges with Beijing.

The report said that New Delhi reacted angrily after Beijing denied a visa to an Indian general responsible for the disputed region of Kashmir. The paper, however, failed to produce a verifiable source.

India's Defense Minister Arackaparambil Kurian Antony heatedly condemned the report the day it was issued, stressing that bilateral defense ties will continue and are by no means coming to any standstill, Chinese media outlets reported.

Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore's largest-circulating, Chinese-language newspaper, citing sources within India's Ministry of Defense, reported that although differences sometimes arise between the two countries, overall bilateral ties are not likely to be affected in the near future.

A full cutoff of military ties owing to this incident, moreover, appears all but impossible, according to the report.

Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie met with Indian Defense Secretary Pradeep Kumar in Beijing in January.

The two countries, meanwhile, have also engaged in high-level military exchange visits in November 2008 - the first ever in their history.

The spokesman for India's Ministry of External Affairs confirmed on Friday that India's relationship with China has been "growing in a number of areas - including defense".

Rong said the swift denouncement by Indian authorities of the report is proof of the Indian government's good sense.

"The Indian press should be more objective and sensible when reporting both countries' relations, especially about concerned disputes," Rong added.

Naturally, he noted, such reports also reflect a misunderstanding of "the complexity of Sino-Indian relations."

Li Daguang, a military specialist with the University of National Defense also spoke against the irresponsible press reports.

"The defense exchanges between China and India will not be stalled," Li said, adding, "and so far as I know, the exchanges between the two countries are ongoing and deepening."

Wang Chenyan and AFP contributed to the story.