China and India have agreed to on strategic and military co-operation during a rare visit to New Delhi by Chinese defence minister Liang Guanglie.

The move, which marks the warming of relations between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, came as Liang met AK Antony, India's defence minister, in the Indian capital New Delhi on Tuesday. 

The last time a Chinese defence minister visited India was in 2004.

"We have reached a very important consensus of further promoting the friendly, strategic and co-operative partnership between the two countries and promoting friendly exchanges and co-operation between the two armed forces," Liang said. 

He also said that after the recent joint naval practice in the Chinese city of Shanghai, both countries had agreed to increase the flow of military exchange, including naval and maritime co-operation.

"We have also reached an agreement or consensus on the exchange and co-operation between the two militaries in
various fields, including the exchange of high level visits, the exchange of young officers and also the exchange of personnel training, inter-collegiate exchanges in non-traditional security fields including co-operation between the two navies and maritime security co-operation," Liang said.

Following the agreements, Antony said that much of the "fruitful" discussions with Liang focused on "South Asia and Asia-Pacific region".

The meeting in New Delhi comes amid mounting tensions between China and other claimants to disputed islands in the South China Sea.

Source: Agencies