China Positive Towards Establishing Military Hotline With India

19/04/2016 9:04 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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India's Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar addresses the media in New Delhi, India, September 5, 2015. The Indian government approved a long-awaited programme to equalise pension payments for retired military personnel despite it being a "huge fiscal burden," Parrikar said on Saturday. REUTERS/Stringer

CHINA -- China is "positive" towards proposals to establish a military hotline with India and to deal with issues along their disputed border, Defence Minister Chang Wanquan told his Indian counterpart during a meeting in Beijing, state media reported.

The two nuclear-armed neighbours have been moving to gradually ease long-existing tensions between them.

Leaders of Asia's two giants pledged last May to cool a festering border dispute, which dates back to a brief border war in 1962, though a messy territorial disagreement remains.

Chang "reacted positively towards setting up a military hotline with India on border security", state news agency Xinhua reported late on Monday, after Chang's meeting with Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Chang "also suggested the two sides strengthen defence exchanges and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity of the border area", the report added.

Xinhua cited Parrikar as saying India is ready to work with China to maintain the stability of the border.

China lays claim to more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) ruled by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. India says China occupies 38,000 sq km (14,600 sq miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.

India is also suspicious of China's support for its arch-rival, Pakistan.

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