SANYA, April 13 � After a pause, India is set to restore full defence cooperation with China, with a high-level military delegation set to visit the country expectedly in June and an in-principle agreement reached for setting up a mechanism for consultations and coordination on border affairs, reports PTI.
The decisions were arrived at during a 50-minute meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Hu Jintao here where the Indian leader also voiced concern over the growing trade imbalance in favour of China, evoking an assurance that it would be addressed.
During the �very productive, warm and friendly� meeting, Singh and Hu launched the �Year of India-China Exchanges in 2011�, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon told reporters.
As part of the measure, there will be a series of visits including by an Indian military delegation to China besides exchange of visits by senior political leaders, holding of strategic economic dialogue, official consultations and people-to-people contacts, he said.
�It has been agreed that a multi-command Indian military delegation will visit China later this year,� Menon said.
Sources said the delegation could visit as early as June and is expected to be headed by a Corps Commander level officer of the rank of Lt General.
The decision to send a military delegation to China marks an end to the freeze on high-level defence exchanges by India after the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen BS Jaswal was denied a proper visa in July last year for travel to Beijing because he served in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to another PTI report, from New Delhi, China today dropped broad hints at reversing its two-year-old practice of issuing stapled visas to people hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was willing to work with India to resolve issues relating to people-to-people exchanges, reports PTI.
�You can watch closely and from which you can pick up and come to a conclusion yourself,� China�s Ambassador to India Zhang Yan told reporters here. He was replying to a question on whether China had relaxed its practice of giving visas on loose sheets of paper which were stapled on the passports of persons hailing from Jammu and Kashmir.