Military hotline between India, China to be set up soon

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Beijing, July 1: A military hotline between the armed forces headquarters of India and China is expected to become operational soon, according to defence ministry officials here.

Yang Yujun, spokesman for the ministry of defence, told visiting Indian journalists on Tuesday that direct telephonic links between the general headquarters of the two countries is expected to be set up in the near future.

He said such a mechanism was necessary to "increase mutual trust, avoid misjudgements and prevent crisis" from developing.

Yang, who has the Indian equivalent title of brigadier-general said talks in this regards were in an advanced stage. Later, other officials said that once the main hotline was established, more such direct links between senior military officers in the field would be set up.

The spokesman also said that consultancy mechanism between China and India on the border issue and consultations at various levels was "functioning".

He was asked about a sentence in the white paper on China's Military Strategy which was released on May 26 this year, which stated that "certain disputes over land territory are still smouldering".

The spokesman said that this was in the context of some disputes which were "leftover from colonialism" and referred to north-east Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, thus steering it away from China-India border question.

Later, Xu Quyu, deputy chief of the institute for strategy at the National Defense University explained that something was lost in translation. In Chinese, the exact words used were "still there" and the word "smouldering."

Officials also informally explained that the incursions seen on the India-China border often happened from both the sides and was the result of a lack of a clear demarcation.

IANS

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