Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee will seek to expand military exercises with China and strengthen trust between the two countries when he visits Beijing later this month.
Mr Mukherjee recently told the Press Trust of India that he wanted to increase co-operation with China following Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India last year.
'We have developed relationships with China politically, economically and commercially,' he was quoted as saying. 'These all-round developments, I think, should also be reflected in defence co-operation.
'My efforts will be to have much larger participation in joint military exercises, more exchanges of visits by armed forces personnel, and an expanded mutual training programme.'
The two countries have held joint exercises with their naval and ground forces, but there had been no contact between their air forces, according to the Indian media report.
Such interaction could help defuse some of the tension between China and India, which has included territorial and boundary disputes and China's support for the Pakistani and Nepalese governments, said Sujit Dutta, a senior fellow and China foreign policy expert at New Delhi's Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.
'From the Indian perspective, we are looking for confidence building, trust building, as well as creating military contacts with China,' Professor Dutta said.
'As China becomes more and more important in world affairs, we would like that it pay more attention to how its policy affects other countries like India and pay attention to its security situation and how its policy shapes the environment.'
Mr Mukherjee was originally scheduled to meet leaders in Beijing in March to explain India's nuclear deal with the US immediately after US President George W. Bush's visit to India. But that trip was postponed due to congressional elections in India.
Plans for his visit this month had not been finalised, an Indian government spokesman said yesterday, and no dates had been fixed.
Foreign affairs officials from both countries have held seven rounds of talks to resolve long-running border disputes between India and China.