The armies of India and China have kicked off a joint anti-terrorism exercise in China’s Yunnan province. The exercise will be on for 10 days where both sides will help enhance mutual understanding, communication and cooperation.
India fielded a contingent of 175 troops from the 2nd Battalion of Naga Regiment from Eastern Command which looks after the border with China. Meanwhile, China deployed troops from 14 Corps of China’s Chengdu Military Region whose focus is on Indian borders.
“The joint military exercise will help enhance mutual understanding and communication and cooperation between the armed forces of India and China,” Deputy Commander of Chengdu Military Region Lieutenant General Zhou Xiaoxhou said.
Troops from both sides will undergo intensive joint training which includes displays, demonstrations and a comprehensive joint exercise. The purpose of the exercise is to develop joint operating capability, share useful experience in counter-terrorism operations and to promote friendly exchanges between the armies of India and China, the statement said.
Same number of troops will be fielded by both sides for the exercise at Kunming city which will culminate on October 22, Indian Embassy said in a statement today.
“India and China have agreed that peace and tranquility in the border areas is an important prerequisite for continued growth of bilateral relations…In this regard, the two countries have put in place several CBMs (Confidence Building Measures) and the joint military exercises are an important component of the CBMs,” Indian Ambassador to China Ashok K Kantha said, while calling for further strengthening of defence exchanges.
“Under conditions when terrorism has emerged as a major threat to humanity, the counter terror cooperation between the two militaries has added significance,” Kantha added.
According to General Zhou Xiaoxhou, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India last year and PM Narendra Modi’s visit to China early this year, have pushed forward bilateral relations between India and China.
This is the fifth round of exercise between both the armies. The first drill was held in southwest China’s Yunnan Province in 2007, followed by drills in Belgaum in Karnataka in 2008. The third round was held in southwest China’s Sichuan in 2013 and the fourth one was in Pune in 2014.
(With inputs from PTI)