Gen. Liang Guanglie Meets with Indian Defense Minister and National Security Advisor

On the morning of May 25, Gen. Liang Guanglie, Member of the Central Military Commission and Chief of General Staff of the PLA, met with Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee and National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan respectively.

During his meeting with Mr. Mukherjee, Gen. Liang said that China and India had a long history of friendship. In recent years, the friendly cooperation between the two sides steadily developed and brought concrete interests to the two peoples. We were pleased to see that the relations between the two defense departments and militaries kept a good momentum of development. The two sides should keep on making efforts to make the relations between the two militaries compatible to the China-India strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity and make positive contributions to the friendship for generations and common prosperity of the two peoples.

Mr. Mukherjee said that he was very pleased with the fruitful talks between Gen. Liang and the chiefs of the three Indian services. Gen. Liang's visit was another high-level contact between the two countries after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India. The event itself proved the close relations between the two countries. The consensus concerning peace, stability and common prosperity was further conductive to the exchanges between the two countries. The friendly atmosphere between the two countries was helpful to the solution of the questions left over by history.

He noted that India thought highly of the great achievements made by China in economy. The two countries should "help each other and develop together" under the guidance of "Panchsheel". He felt that "Panchsheel" could also guide the development of the relations of the two militaries. Cooperation should be further strengthened to safeguard regional peace and stability through opening-up, dialogue and mutual visits.

Gen. Liang also conveyed to Mr. Mukherjee the greetings and invitations of Gen. Cao Gangchuan, Chinese Defense Minister, welcoming him to visit China at his convenience. Mr. Mukherjee expressed thanks for the invitation and looked forward to meeting with Gen. Cao Gangchuan soon to exchange views on safeguarding regional peace and stability.

During his meeting with Mr. Narayanan, Gen. Liang said China was willing to solve the boundary question seriously, carefully, fairly and reasonably in accordance with the principles of equal consultation and mutual understanding and accommodation. The Chinese military was ready to positively implement the confidence-building measures in the military field along the Line of Actual Control in China-India border areas with the Indian military, steadily develop and deepen the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries and militaries and go on safeguarding the harmony and peace in the border area.

Mr. Narayanan said India and China established diplomatic ties 55 years ago. The number of 55 symbolized auspice among Indian people. During this auspicious period, Gen. Liang's visit was inspiring and would have important effect in the years to come. India and China were both countries of independent sovereignty which pursued maintaining independence, not succumbing to outside pressure and not being coerced to confront the third country. He stressed that India attached great importance to the cooperation in the fields of defense and anti-terrorism between the two countries. He hoped through Gen. Liang's visit, the two militaries could further play the roles they have in safeguarding peace and stability in the border areas, implement the "Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question" and establish confidence so as to push the level of bilateral exchanges to a new height.  

Also present at the meetings were Chinese Ambassador to India Mr. Sun Yuxi, Gen. Liang's entourage including Lt. Gen. He Weirong, Chief of Air Force General Staff, Lt. Gen. Liu Fengjun, Deputy Commander of the Beijing Military Area Command and Commander of the Beijing Garrison Command and Maj. Gen. Wang Guosheng, Chief of Staff of the Lanzhou Military Area Command.

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