BEIJING, June 29 (Reuters) - China’s Defence Ministry said on Wednesday that a recent visit by an Indian military delegation had been successful and would benefit relations after a freeze in ties last year over a visa row.
“Last year, Sino-Indian military exchanges experienced some difficulties, but ... both sides worked hard to find a good way of resolving this,” ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a news conference, according to a transcript posted on the ministry’s website (www.mod.gov.cn).
“Both sides said that they were willing to work hard together to ensure peace and tranquility on the border and further promote exchanges between their militaries,” Yang said.
India and China, emerging rivals for resources and global influence, fought a border in the 1960s and have been wary neighbours ever since. China also occupies a part of the Himalayan region of Kashmir which India claims as its own.
Yang said he believed the visit had been conducive towards promoting trust and the development of military relations.
“China hopes that China and India can ... further promote the development of military ties,” Yang said, without giving any other details.
China last August denied a visa to an Indian general in charge of operations in the disputed Kashmir region, which lead to a suspension of military contacts between the two growing powers.
India protested in 2009 against a Chinese embassy policy of issuing different visas to residents of Indian Kashmir. New Delhi bristles at any hint that Kashmir, where a separatist insurgency has raged for two decades, is not part of India.
India’s old rival Pakistan also claims Kashmir.
Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel