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India, China to sign internal security cooperation agreement

India, China to sign internal security cooperation agreementFor the first time, India and China will sign an internal security cooperation agreement during the forthcoming visit of China's Minister of Public Security, marking a new beginning in bilateral relations, officials said Monday.

Zhao Kezhi, China's Minister of Public Security, is expected to visit India next month and hold meetings with Home Minister Rajnath Singh during which they will discuss various aspects of security cooperation between the two countries.

During the visit of the Chinese leader, an agreement on internal security cooperation between the two countries will be signed, a home ministry official said.

The proposed pact is expected to cover areas of intelligence sharing, exchange programme, sharing of best practices, cooperation in disaster mitigation besides others, an official said.

The move comes just a year after a two-month-long border stand-off between the India Army and the China's People's Liberation Army at Doklam on the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held an informal summit in Wuhan, China, in April this year which helped repair bilateral ties.

A Chinese delegation met an Indian team on August 28 to hold discussions on the forthcoming visit of the Chinese Minister of Public Security and the proposed pact on security cooperation between the two countries, the official said.

This will be the first such agreement between the authorities of India and China which look after internal security of the respective countries, the official said.

While Singh is the head of eight central armed police forces with a combined strength of about 10 lakh personnel, Zhao is responsible for day-to-day law enforcement in China and commands about 19 lakh personnel.

The forthcoming meeting may lead to a future India-China agreement on exchange of sentenced prisoners, another official said.

Currently, India does not have an extradition treaty with China, nor a pact to exchange each other's sentenced prisoners.

There are at least 10 Indians in Chinese prisons and an equal number of Chinese citizens in Indian prisons.

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