India, China open maritime affairs dialogue

New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) New Delhi and Beijing officials here on Thursday held the inaugural India-China maritime affairs dialogue and discussed wide range of issues related to maritime cooperation.

The meeting covered a gamut of issues of “mutual interest and prospects for maritime cooperation between the two countries”, an official statement said here.

“The dialogue covered exchange of perspectives on maritime security, developments in international regimes such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and prospects for maritime cooperation,” read the statement.

Earlier, China desired to step up maritime cooperation and dialogue with India and other South Asian countries to allay their concerns over increased Chinese naval activity in the Indian Ocean.

The next round of dialogue will be held in Beijing on a mutually convenient date.

The Indian delegation was led by Amandeep Singh Gill, joint secretary (Disarmament and International Security Affairs), in the external affairs ministry and the Chinese delegation was led by Kong Xuanyou, assistant minister of foreign affairs of China.

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