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Analysis: China, India strengthen security ties
( 2003-11-15 11:22) (China Daily)

China and India, held their first-ever joint naval exercise off the Shanghai coast on Friday.

This followed the China-Pakistan joint maritime search-and-rescue drill in the East China Sea last month, which was the first of its kind China had ever permitted.

Aimed at ensuring the safety of maritime trade and improving co-ordination between the naval forces of two countries in missions at sea, such manoeuvres in the field of non-traditional security should help enhance mutual trust and contribute to regional peace and stability.

In the Indian-China exercise, India dispatched a navy fleet consisting of nearly 700 men and a destroyer "Ranjit,'' a corvette "Kulish,'' a replenishment tanker "Jyoti.''

It follows Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes's China tour in April and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's significant visit to Beijing in June after a decade-long interval, during which the joint exercise was agreed.

The positive development of Sino-Indian relations can largely be attributed to the convergence of strategic objectives and interests between the nations who both seek a peaceful and stable environment for their own ongoing economic development.

Due to the accelerated globalization process, "security'' has evolved into a comprehensive concept, which goes beyond the political and military areas and into economic, scientific and technological, environmental, cultural and other fields.

History has proved that force cannot fundamentally solve disputes or contradictions. Security concepts and systems based on the use or threat of force are not able to make lasting peace.

In this increasingly interdependent world, security can only be guaranteed through active co-operation, which, obviously, has been realized by the leadership of both China and India.

Inadequate mutual understanding is the major obstacle to the growth of Sino-Indian relations, though their common interests are far greater than the problems left over from history.

The joint exercise is are reflection of the strong desire by both sides for building real confidence through strengthening collaboration in the sensitive military realm.

The joint naval drills between China and India and between China and Pakistan are in line with the interests of all three countries as foreign trade between the three is largely dependent upon sea transport, which is threatened by piracy.

Moreover, improving Sino-Indian relations can help ease tensions in South Asia. And China can play a more constructive role in creating a benign atmosphere for India-Pakistan negotiations that may lead to peaceful solutions in their decades-long problems.

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