Visit to India of General Fu Quanyou, Chief-of-Staff of China's P.L.A.
11 May, 1998 · 83
CV Ranganathan, former Indian Ambassador to China, evaluates the recent visit of General Fu Quanyou, Chief-of-Staff of the Chinese PLA
Fu Quanyou has the distinction of having commanded the military regions of
Although the visit was fixed some time ago, it acquires an important salience with the coming-to-power in March this year of a BJP-led multi-party coalition government in
The testing of the Ghauri missile by
According to public accounts of these meetings, both sides expressed agreement on the need to strengthen bilateral relations, work jointly for regional peace and stability, and building a consensual approach to resolve the contentious border question and other bilateral issues. Progress on the two agreements in 1993 and 1996 on Confidence Building Measures (CBM's) along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has been seen in
On China's assistance to Pakistan's missile programme, it is again to be doubted if the Chinese interlocutors strayed beyond their known positions, which is to state that China's limited assistance to Pakistan is purely for defensive purposes. However, General Fu would have been exposed to a more assertive Indian stance on this issue from the BJP leaders than was the case with previous Indian governments. Generally speaking, the visit should be seen as having an important symbolic significance. It gave an opportunity to military leaders on both sides to exchange notes on the problems each country faces in modernising its forces, share mutual intentions of non-aggression and non-hostile behaviour, and take another small step towards building confidence. Talks at high military levels are a necessary complement to exchanges at high civilian levels at this stage of improving Sino-Indian relations.
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