October 29, 2015 / 9:39 AM / 2 years ago

Top Chinese military officer to visit India, Pakistan

China's Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Fan Changlong attends the sixth Xiangshan Forum in Beijing, China, October 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING (Reuters) - One of China’s most senior military officers will visit Pakistan and India next month, China’s defense ministry said on Thursday, making trips to neighboring rivals which have very different relations with Beijing.

China and Pakistan describe each other as “all weather friends” and have tight links, and while Chinese and Indian relations have improved considerably since a brief border war in 1962, the two remain locked in a messy territorial dispute and deep suspicions persist.

Fan Changlong, one of the vice chairmen of the Central Military Commission which controls the Chinese armed forces and is headed by President Xi Jinping, will visit in the middle of November, ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a regular news briefing.

The trip is to boost friendly exchanges and help “jointly maintain regional peace and security”, Yang said, without elaborating.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard

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