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India, China to hold joint army exercise in October
June 07, 2007 02:30 IST
This is the first time that the two armies, which have been locked in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation for the last four decades across 3,000 km of Himalayan borders, will be holding a joint exercise, he said.
The exercise is a significant step, with Defence Minister A K Antony recently saying in Singapore that there has been considerable movement in confidence-building measures on the Sino-Indian frontier.
Antony, speaking on the sidelines of a defence ministry function in New Delhi on Wednesday, said complete peace and tranquility prevailed on the Himalayan borders.
Previously, the two armies had held bonhomie meetings on the border to break the ice. Recently, the navies of the two countries held elementary joint exercises in the South China Sea and the waters off Cochin.
It is significant that the two armies have chosen anti-terrorism operations for their first joint maneuver. Apparently, the Chinese want to draw on the Indian Army's rich experience in anti-insurgency operations.
"The exercises will involve a platoon-strength formation from each army (about 100 personnel including officers)," the army chief said.