The Indian Navy has offered to participate in another bilateral exercise with China, on the lines of the one in November 2003.
Expressing hope that strengthening of the political dialogue between India and China would lead to closer relations between the two Armed Forces, Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Admiral Arun Prakash told the visiting PLA Chief of the General Staff General Liang Guanglie that the two forces could have greater interaction through training courses, exercises and adventure activities.
The Chinese general, who arrived in New Delhi Monday evening, had called on Admiral Prakash at Naval Headquarters today. Gen Liang said that the Chinese Armed Forces attached great importance to good relations between the two countries.
Fully supporting the proposal for greater exchange of visits, joint exercises and other interactions between personnel of both armed forces, he also extended an invitation to the Navy Chief to visit China at an early date, during which a road map for bilateral relations could be drawn up.
Admiral Prakash responded by extending an invitation to the Chief of the PLA Navy, Admiral Zhang Dingfa to visit India.
Earlier, Gen Liang Guanglie also held discussions with Army Chief Gen J J Singh, and IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi on initiating the process of mutual consultations envisaged in a protocol signed during Chinese premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India last month, defence sources here said.
The Chinese Army chief would meet Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee tomorrow before beginning a tour of prominent Indian defence installations, including the HQs of the Army's Southern Command and the National Defence Academy at Pune, the Western Naval Command at Mumbai and the IAF transport base and Paratrooper Training School at Agra.
Gen Liang's visit -- the first by a high-ranking Chinese military officer in seven years -- follows the visit last December of erstwhile Army Chief Gen N C Vij to China.