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India and China to link Home Ministries

Mr. Kantha later told The Hindu that both sides “agreed that the terrorism had now to be combated at the international level, and both sides would be working in that direction.” At the media conference, he pointed out that a two-tier structure has been established to steer ties between the Home Ministry and the Ministry of Public Security of China.

The two ministers — Mr. Singh and Mr. Guo — will head this mechanism. They will be assisted by a “working-level group”, led by a Joint Secretary from the Ministry of Home Affairs, and an officer of the rank of Director General from the Ministry of Public Security.

The new mechanism will provide an institutional platform that will cover all issues that impact on the “internal security” of the two countries. The topics include law enforcement, cyber crimes, terrorism, trans-border crimes and drug trafficking. The first ministerial meeting of this forum is expected in the first half of 2016, when the State Councillor Guo is expected to visit New Delhi at the invitation of Mr. Singh.

Mr. Singh’s talks on Thursday also yielded consensus on a “framework agreement” as the basis for upgrading security ties.

“We have agreed to work towards a new bilateral agreement which will provide contours of cooperation in counter-terrorism, security, and related trans-border crimes,” Mr. Kantha said.

The tempo on counter-terrorism between the two countries has been growing since the Paris attacks, as the high-level interaction between India and China gets its second wind. At a meeting in New Delhi on Monday between Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and China’s Vice-Chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission, Fan Changlong, the two sides called “for cooperation in fighting terrorism,” China Military Online, a website run by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reported, citing the Paris attacks.

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