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China slams attempts to disrupt ties with India
August 30, 2013, 5:47 am

China and India will hold joint military exercises this year in China’s Sichuan Province [AP]

China and India will hold joint military exercises this year in China’s Sichuan Province [AP]

China on Thursday slammed attempts to provoke tension between India and China by “groundless” reports about an arms race in Asia.

“It is groundless and shows a lack of good will to use weapons equipment as a pretext to drive a wedge between China and India,” said China’s Ministry of National Defence spokesman Yang Yujun.

He was responding to a question about media reports alleging the INS Vikrant is an attempt to target China.

India had unveiled its first indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant in mid-August this year.

“China and India are partners and close neighbours. Getting along well with each other and achieving co-development is in the fundamental interests of the two peoples,” the spokesman said.

Yang was speaking at a press briefing in Beijing announcing China and India will hold joint military exercises this year in China’s Sichuan Province.

“China and India will launch joint anti-terrorism training between the two armies within 2013 in southwest China”, Yang said on Thursday.

Chinese and Indian experts have had two rounds of consultations on the date, assignment and scale of the forces to be involved in the training.

“The joint training is aimed at increasing mutual trust and pragmatic cooperation and preserving regional peace and stability”, Yang said.

“The two defence ministries are keeping in touch on details of the training,” he added.

India’s new Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh met China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin for the fifth China-India Strategic Dialogue earlier this month.

The talks were held in the backdrop of an imminent NATO and international troops pullout from Afghanistan in 2014 that has sparked concerns of a return of unrest to the region.

The two Asian giants had recently held a strategic dialogue on Central Asia, focusing on their “very similar” approaches to regional and energy security in the strategically important region.

China is India’s second largest trading partner and the nations have set a trade target of $100 billion by 2015.

Earlier in May, Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister noted that in 2012, China, India together accounted for 45 per cent of world growth in purchasing power parity.

Singh is expected to travel to Beijing in October.

The BRICS Post with inputs from  Agencies

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