Friday, December 05, 2008

Military Exercise With India Not Aimed At Third Parties: China

Military Exercise With India Not Aimed At Third Parties: China (NSI News Source Info) BEIJING - December 5, 2008: Amid intense pressure on its "all weather" ally Pakistan to come clean on the Mumbai terror attacks, China said on Thursday that its impending joint anti-terror exercise with India had "no specified background and is not aimed at any third parties." "The time of the training was set previously and the joint training has no specified background and is not aimed at any third parties," Chinese Defence ministry spokesman Huang Xueping was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency here. An Indian division commander gives a thumb-up to a Chinese soldier after viewing a Chinese military exercise with live ammunition held in the Queshan Training Base in Henan Province, central China The militaries of India and China will hold their second joint anti-terror exercise code-named "Hand in Hand 2008" from Saturday in Belgaum district in Karnataka to enhance "mutual understanding and trust" between the armies of the two Asian giants. The two armies will each dispatch an infantry company to take part in the December 6-14 joint training. A 137-member-strong force from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) arrived at the training camp in Belgaum today. The joint training is intended to enhance mutual understanding and trust and advance the development of relations between the Chinese and Indian armies, he said. The joint anti-terror military training will include display of weapons and equipment, communication of tactics, joint training and a comprehensive drill, the report said. The two countries held their first joint anti-terrorism military training in Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province last year. Earlier in the day, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had appealed to both India and Pakistan to engage in dialogue and cooperation to safeguard peace and stability in South Asia. Additional Info: Related Topic Sino-Indian Joint Army Training Exercise (NSI News Source Info) December 5, 2008: In continuation of the ongoing Army to Army cooperation, as part of the Annual Defence Dialogue (ADD) which commenced between China and in India, in 2006, the 137 member strong Chinese Army contingent arrived in their service aircraft at the Southern Indian city of Pune this morning. Pune, besides being an industrial hub, is also a centre for higher learning. The city which has a concentration of a large number of institutions of higher learning, also boasts of many prestigious military institutions including the premier National Defence Academy (NDA), the cradle of learning and development of India's military leadership. The current joint Army training and exercise marks the growing military cooperation between the two countries. Earlier, India and China had held the first joint naval exercise in November 2003 off Shanghai on China's Eastern seaboard. Subsequently, two ships of the Indian Navy also made port calls at Qingdao and participated in a joint exercise with the PLA Navy earlier in 2007. After a brief formal reception by the Indian contingent commander at the Pune airfield, the Chinese army personnel and stores were transported by six IAF aircrafts to Belgaum, the venue of the Ex Hand-in-Hand 2008. This joint training exercise is the second in the series, the previous one having been conducted in Kunming, China in Oct 2007. The Ex Hand-in-Hand 2008 is aimed at expanding and strengthening military-to-military ties between the two armed forces. During the course of joint training, the Chinese troops from the 1st Company of Infantry Battalion of Chengdu Military Area Command and the Indian Army troops from 8 Maratha Light Infantry Battalion, are expected to undergo joint tactical maneuvers and drills; interoperability training; and joint command post procedures, finally culminating in a joint counter-terrorist operational exercise with simulated enemy. The exercise is planned at mixed company group level with command and control elements from the respective battalions' headquarters. The training and maneuvers are to be supervised by a joint Directing Panel comprising of army officials of both the Armys. The helicopter assets of the Indian Air Force will also be incorporated for conduct of special heliborne maneuvers and assault operations. A 13-member Chinese delegation led by a Senior Colonel (equivalent to a Brigadier of the India Army) was in India from Oct 21 to 23 to attend the initial planning conference and discuss details of the exercise. The detailed planning and coordination for conduct of the exercise were finalized during the visit of eight member Indian Army delegation led by a Brigadier to Chengdu from Nov 20 to Nov 23. A high ranking PLA delegation, as well as senior Indian Army officials, is expected to visit the exercise venue as 'Observers' to view the proceedings of the joint training exercise.

President Dmitry Medvedev India Visit To Focus On Defense Ties

President Dmitry Medvedev India Visit To Focus On Defense Ties (NSI News Source Info) December 5, 2008: President Dmitry Medvedev arrived in New Delhi on Thursday for a three-day visit that is expected to see Russia lease nuclear-powered submarines to India as part of deepening defense ties.
Medvedev, talking to Indian television before the visit to India, also said Moscow stood ready to help with the investigation of militant attacks in Mumbai that killed 171 people and with broader questions on fighting terrorism.
"We are prepared for cooperation on all fronts with the aim of preventing such terrorist attacks, in the investigation of the recent terrorist attack and the creation of a global defense system against terrorism in the world," Medvedev said.He spoke of deepening defense industry ties, which reached their high during the Soviet era.
"We are talking also about cooperation in the sphere of leasing atomic submarines," Medvedev said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev , front, walks during a ceremonial reception, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Dec. 5, 2008. Medvedev, on his first visit to India as President, said Russia can help India fight terrorism and investigate the deadly attacks in Mumbai
A spokesman for India's defense ministry declined immediate comment.Russia is one of the world's major arms exporters. It has a fleet of nuclear-powered but conventionally armed submarines besides its strategic nuclear-armed vessels, which are not sold abroad.
Trade between India and Russia -- who are now among the world's biggest emerging market economies -- is set to rise to $7 billion this year from $5 billion in 2007, Medvedev said.
He said Russia and India's growing economic and strategic clout meant that the world needed to take them into account and that they could boost cooperation along with China and Brazil as part of the BRIC grouping.
"Today, we cannot even imagine that any of the most important global problems would be considered, for example, without Russia or India," he said.
Indian media have reported that New Delhi was interested in leasing nuclear submarines including the Nerpa, the scene of an accident last month in the Sea of Japan in which 20 people were killed. The Russian military denied reports that the submarine was to be leased to India.
Medvedev said the accident aboard the Nerpa was probably caused by human error and that any worries about the safety of Russian submarines were misplaced.
India, along with China, is one of Russia's biggest clients for arms sales, but New Delhi has been upset by delays in the delivery of an aircraft carrier.
Moscow has delayed the delivery of the carrier to 2012 and pushed up the price. Medvedev said both sides needed to agree on the final outline for the refitting of the Admiral Gorshkov.
The two countries are also expected to sign a nuclear cooperation agreement Friday, said Anil Kakodkar, chairman of India's Atomic Energy Commission. The agreement will allow state-owned Rosatom to compete for supplier contracts in India, which plans to add 40,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity by 2020.
India needs nuclear technology and fuel to add electricity-generating capacity and help cut peak power shortages that may widen to 18.1 percent in the year to March as demand outstrips supply. Russia agreed in January 2007 to help India in the construction of four energy blocks at the atomic plant in Kudankulam and nuclear power plants at new sites in India.
Additional Info: Related Topic
Russia To Sell Four Nuclear Reactors To India
(NSI News Source Info) New Delhi - December 5, 2008: The US may have used its considerable diplomatic clout to gain India entry into the nuclear club and France may have signed a deal regarding the sale of nuclear reactors to the country, but Russia will be the first to sell four reactors to India after the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) cleared nuclear commerce with India two months ago.
The four reactors, each with a capacity to generate 1,000MW, will be constructed at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu. India and Russia will sign an agreement to this effect on Friday, during the three-day visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, his first to India since taking over as President in March. The four reactors, each with a capacity to generate 1,000MW, will be constructed at Koodankulam in Tamil Nadu, where Russia is already constructing two reactors, each of 1,000MW capacity, for a power plant. India has also agreed to identify another location for a nuclear power plant that will be built by Russia, a government official, who did not want to be identified, said. The agreement between Russia and India to this effect has been ready for a year, but it couldn’t be signed and ratified because India is yet to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which allows the transfer of sensitive civilian nuclear technology. To be sure, India is yet to sign the treaty, but the waiver by the 45-member NSG, which controls the export and transfer of nuclear material and technology, has now made it possible for the two countries to sign the nuclear deal. Russia is a member of NSG and while the US lobbied for a waiver for India, it will be Russia that reaps the first commercial benefits of this waiver. Medvedev’s visit to India is part of a process of annual summits between India and Russia put in place some years ago, not only to promote the relationship between the two countries, but also to sort out several disputes relating to defence, trade and economy. For instance, on the eve of Medvedev’s visit, Russia agreed that the dispute between Russian company Technoprom Exports and NTPC Ltd over the supply of boilers would be sorted out through a process of adjudication. India briefed Russia’s deputy prime minister Alexander Zhukov on the adjudicator’s report, which was submitted on Monday and which states that the two sides should resolve the matter together. Zhukov agreed that the Russian company would adhere to the Indian adjudicator’s advice, the government official added. Zhukov was in New Delhi to participate in the 14th session of the India-Russia inter-governmental commission, which is co-chaired by him and India’s foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee. The government official clarified that there was “no linkage” between the resolution of the Technoprom-NTPC dispute and India’s interest in buying a 20% stake in the enormous Sakhalin-3 gas field in Russia. A top petroleum ministry official had previously told Mint that such a linkage had indeed been made when petroleum minister Murli Deora met Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, according to a 24 November Mint report. However, the government official admitted that Deora and Putin had discussed both Sakhalin-3 and Technoprom during their meeting. Two other officials, one in the ministry of external affairs and another in the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, separately said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would speak about India’s interest in Sakhalin-3 when he meets Medvedev, but were not hopeful of Russia’s willingness to cut a deal. “Any such potential deal on Sakhalin-3 will be determined by commercial, not strategic, considerations,” the officials said. India and Russia will also discuss the modernization of the Bhilai Steel Plant, built in the 1950s with the assistance of the erstwhile Soviet Union, but again, commerce, not strategic interest, will define the negotiations, the external affairs ministry official said. He agreed that the Russian side had quoted the lowest price for the modernization, but that the amount was still three times what Steel Authority of India Ltd had estimated. He declined details of the exact amount quoted. This official added that India was willing to renegotiate the price of Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov. India has been keen to buy this from Russia, which recently upped its asking price, and last week, India’s cabinet allowed the government to go ahead and “renegotiate”. Defence secretary Vijay Singh is expected to travel to Moscow in January to finalize the renegotiated price. The same official said India was ready to pay around $2 billion (nearly Rs10,000 crore) for the aircraft-carrier, which was “still cheap” at the price “The ones that we have been offered by the West are double this amount.”