Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Friday said there was no question of snapping defence ties with China and asserted that they would continue.
India had “very close ties” in the defence area with China. Occasionally, there would be some problems here and there. But that would not affect our broader approach. Defence relations with China would continue and there was no question of breaking ties, he said.
The Minister was fielding questions from journalists after laying the foundation stone for the Rs. 700-crore expansion project of MIDHANI (Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited), a mini-ratna company, here.
To a question, Mr. Antony said the government was encouraging private sector in defence production and allowing 100 per cent participation. On the demand for raising the cap on Foreign Direct Investment in defence production to 49 per cent, the Minister was non-committal, saying currently it was 26 per cent. For proposals of more than Rs. 300 crore, there should be an offset of 30 per cent. More and more private sector firms were participating and “we are not restricting this area to the public sector,” he said.
Mr. Antony said the aim was to build a strong defence-industrial base in the country. He expressed confidence that this trend (of more private participation) would continue.