Antony meets Li Keqiang, discusses border crisis and incursions
Defence Minister A K Antony today met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and held talks with his counterpart on a host of bilateral issues, including a new mechanism to boost security along the borders, in the backdrop of Chinese incursions in Ladakh region.
Antony, who arrived in China Thursday night on a four day visit, started off his tour with delegation level talks with Chinese Defence Minister General Chang Wanquan.
The talks lasted for an hour, officials said. Antony, the first Indian Defence Minister to visit China since 2006, later called on Premier Li and discussed the follow up steps initiated by both the countries after his historic visit last month, which took place in the backdrop of Chinese incursions in the Depsang Valley in Ladakh area in April, setting off new round of border tensions.
Welcoming Antony, Li said China and India are important neigbours and partners.
The peaceful coexistence of China and India is good blessing for both countries and Asia and also for promoting peace stability and development, he said.
Gen Wang later hosted a banquet in Antony’s honour. The two sides are currently finalising the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) which among other things is expected to improve mechanisms to prevent any tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as the two countries made efforts to resolve the border dispute.