India, China defence joint working group meets in Beijing

India and China reviewed the situation on the border and agreed on more port calls by each other’s Navies as part of measures to improve military to military cooperation, at a meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) between the Defence Ministries in Beijing last week.

“The focus of the discussions was on border management, more port calls and activities linked to the celebration of 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries between April 2020 and March 2021,” a defence source said on Monday. The JWG meeting coincided with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s visit to China to prepare for the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in October this year. The JWG meeting was held on August 13 and 14.

The Indian delegation was led by a Joint Secretary from the Defence Ministry along with one star officer each from the three Services.

The JWG discussions will be followed by the annual defence and security dialogue headed by the Defence Secretary. There is also a proposed visit of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to China by year end.

In December, the armies of India and China will hold the annual exercise Hand-in-Hand at Umroi near Shillong. The two-week, company-level exercise will take place in the second half of December and the exercise planning conference to finalise the modalities is scheduled this month.

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