Washington: A high degree of mistrust continues to strain the bilateral relationship between India and China, the Pentagon has informed the US Congress.
   
New Delhi remains concerned by China's close military ties with Pakistan and its growing footprint in the Indian Ocean, Central Asia and Africa, Pentagon said in its annual report.

"China deepened its ties with India through increased trade and high-level dialogues in 2010, though border tensions remained an irritant in the bilateral relationship. Bilateral trade in 2010 reached nearly USD 60 billion," the annual report on Chinese military build up to the Congress said.
   
The two neighbors have held several rounds of dialogue over disputed territorial claims. Sino-Indian defense ties were institutionalized in 2007 with the establishment of an Annual Defense Dialogue, the report said.

"Though India cancelled high-level military exchanges following China's denial of visa to a senior Indian general in 2010, both sides agreed to resume exchanges in April 2011," the Pentagon said, adding during his December 2010 trip to New Delhi, Premier Wen Jiabao attempted to smooth over differences following a year of uneasy relations, but he did not address serious irritants.
   
"A high degree of mistrust continues to strain the bilateral relationship,” it said.

"To strengthen its deterrent posture relative to India, the PLA has replaced liquid-fueled, nuclear-capable CSS-2 IRBMs with more advanced and survivable solid-fueled CSS-5 MRBM systems," Pentagon said, adding China is also investing in road development along the Sino-Indian border.
   
"Although this construction is primarily aimed at facilitating economic development in western China, improved roads could also support PLA border defense operations," it said.
   
"India is also improving infrastructure along its northeastern border. New Delhi remains concerned by China’s close military relationship with Pakistan and Beijing’s growing footprint in the Indian Ocean, Central Asia, and Africa," the report said.

(Agencies)