BEIJING – China is “positive” toward proposals to establish a military hotline with India to deal with issues along their disputed border, Defense Minister Chang Wanquan told his Indian counterpart during a meeting in Beijing, state media reported.
The two nuclear-armed neighbors have been moving to gradually ease long-existing tensions between them.
The leaders of Asia’s two giants pledged last May to cool a festering border dispute, which dates back to a brief border war in 1962, though a messy territorial disagreement remains.
Chang “reacted positively toward setting up a military hotline with India on border security,” the official Xinhua News Agency reported late Monday after Chang met with Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Chang “also suggested the two sides strengthen defense exchanges and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility of the border area,” the report added.
Xinhua cited Parrikar as saying India is ready to work with China to maintain the stability of the border.
China lays claim to more than 90,000 sq. km (35,000 sq. miles) ruled by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. India says China occupies 38,000 sq. km (14,600 sq. miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.
India is also suspicious of China’s support for its arch-rival, Pakistan.