Beijing, (PTI) The militaries of China and India would hold a joint 14-day drill from December 10 in southwest China’s Chengdu city to improve their capabilities in fighting terrorism and promote mutual understanding, the Defence Ministry said here Thursday.
Each side will send 100 troops to take part in the 7th India and China joint military exercises – ‘Hand in Hand’ – which will focus on counter-terrorism operations, Defence Ministry spokesman Col Ren Guoqiang told a media briefing.
The exercises will be held after a gap of one year as both the sides were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam in the Sikkim sector of the border in 2017.
The strained relations between the two sides later improved resulting in an informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Chinese city of Wuhan in April this year.
“The two sides are preparing for the exercises now. The drill will promote understanding between the two militaries and improving their capabilities in fighting terrorism,” Col Ren said.
The exercises, which will conclude on December 23, will include live shooting and adoptive and basic training, he said, adding that true to its name, ‘Hand in Hand’, China and Indian militaries should also work hand in hand for the benefit of people in both the nations.
Earlier at the 9th Defence dialogue held here on November 13 between Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Lt Gen Shao Yuanming, Deputy Chief of Joint Staff Department of Central Military Commission, the two sides discussed bilateral relations, military ties, border control as well as regional and international issues.
The two sides agreed to follow the consensus reached by the top leaders of the two countries to promote military relationship under the principle of maintaining peace and tranquillity and enhancing the trust, friendship, and cooperation, Col Ren said.
Top leaders from both the countries also met recently on November 24 at the 21st India-China border talks held at Dujiangyan near Chengdu in southwestern Sichuan province. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi who are the designated Special Representatives took part in the talks.
Col Ren also said China and Pakistan will hold 7th joint air force exercises in Bhosari air force base in Pakistan from November 30 to December 23.
China will send its fighter jets and bombers and early warning AWACS planes to the exercise, he said, adding the exercise will help improve combat capability of both sides.