Beijing: Amid fresh reports of incursions by Chinese troops, top defence officials of India and China today held preliminary talks to improve relations between the two militaries ahead of their Annual Defence Dialogue (ADD).
A high-powered Indian military delegation headed by Defence Secretary R K Mathur which arrived here today held preliminary talks as the two sides had a wide agenda for the ADD besides exchanging views on a number of regional and global security issues of mutual concern.
The seventh round of the ADD will be formally held on April 10 and aims at improving military ties.
The talks between the top military officials were held ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China expected to take place in the middle of May during which he would hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on critical issues like the boundary dispute as well as forging closer trade ties with more Chinese investments.
Today's preliminary talks were held days after two recent face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh in the same area where People's Liberation Army (PLA) had pitched camps in April, 2013, leading to a three week-long standoff.
According to Indian officials, the Chinese troops came to Burtse and Depsang areas in north of Ladakh, first on March 20 and then on March 28, apparently as part of attempts to reach the Old Patrol Point, the last established base of Indian security forces.
China says such incidents take place because of different perceptions of the LAC.
The two sides were expected to review the implementation of the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) reached two years ago to address aggressive patrolling by both sides along the disputed border.
Both the countries recently held the 18th round of border talks in New Delhi aimed at resolving the issue that was presided over by Special Representatives Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.
The contention in the border talks lies in China's claim that the border dispute is confined only to 2,000 kms mostly in Arunachal Pradesh while India asserts that the dispute covered the western side of the border spanning to about 4,000 kms, especially the Aksai Chin area annexed by China in 1962 war.