India, China armies to hold joint military exercise next month


India, China armies to hold joint military exercise next month

NEW DELHI: India and China will hold their fifth ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military exercise next month in the Chinese city of Kunming, the engagement coming on the heels of a recent face-off between their troops in Burtse in Ladakh.

Army sources said the exercise will be held from October 11 to 23 and India will be sending a detachment of soldiers from the Naga Regiment for taking part in the same.

The ‘Hand-in-Hand’ exercise is aimed at exploring useful experiences, advancing pragmatic cooperation and promoting a friendly environment between the two armies, the sources said.

The first edition of the annual exercise was held in Kunming in December, 2007, following which India hosted a Chinese detachment as part of ‘Hand-in-Hand’ at Belgaum in December, 2008.

However, there was a gap of five years before a third edition of the exercise was held in China’s Chengdu area in 2013 in which a group of 160 personnel from Indian Army’s 16 Sikh Light Infantry had taken part.

The joint exercise which took place thereafter last year in Pune was to share the lessons learnt while tackling insurgency and terrorism so as to promote healthy military-to- military ties between the two armies and develop joint strategies for conducting operations in a counter-terrorism environment.

Forming part of the different levels of military-to- military engagement across the entire spectrum of operations, the exercise will enrich the two contingents for further honing their basic military skills, the sources said.

The exercise this year comes soon after the two armies operationalised their fifth border personnel meeting (BPM) point at Daulat Beg Oldi last month, which adds to the existing ones at Chushul (Ladakh), Nathu La (Sikkim), Bum La and Kibithu (Arunachal). 


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