BEIJING: India does not want its ties with China affected by “third-party factors”, visiting Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar told his Chinese counterpart.

The remarks came one week after Parrikar and US Defense Secretary Ash Carter vowed to safeguard maritime security in the region, including the South China Sea, reports Chinese media.

According to observers, India is seeking to strike a balance between China and the United States in its frequent high-level meetings with Chinese officials this week. China is moving very carefully in developing it’s with India, ensuring their bilateral ties should have positive impact on border areas, and its relations with neighbouring countries like Pakistan.

Also on Monday, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushmatri lateral meeting in Moscow with her Chinese and Russian counterparts, Wang Yi and Sergey Lavrov.

India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is set to arrive in China on Wednesday to meet with State Councilor Yang Jiechi for border talks.

According to a news release issued by the Chinese military, Parrikar told Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, “India hopes to ... ensure that the development of bilateral ties is not affected by factors including third parties.

“India attaches the highest priority to relations with China,” Parrikar said.

Chang said China expects to deepen mutual trust with India and protect common interests.

Parrikar also met with Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, who recently observed building work on some Chinese islands in the South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday that the frequent high-level exchanges reflect the good momentum in ties.

Meanwhile, China reacted positively toward setting up a military hotline with India on border security, said Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan.

He called on the two sides to do a good job in implementing the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, enhance strategic communication, so as to safeguard common interests.

 

He also suggested the two sides strengthen defense exchanges and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility of the border area.

 

Vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission Fan Changlong met with Parrikar on Monday afternoon.

Fan said China regards bilateral ties from a strategic and long-term perspective and is willing to strengthen military-to-military cooperation to contribute more to peace, stability and prosperity of two countries.

 

Parrikar said India stands ready to work with China to maintain the stability of the border and fight against terrorism.