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India, China to hold military exercise after five years

August 23, 2013 19:01 IST

Notwithstanding the spate of incursions by the Chinese army into Indian territory, the two countries will hold military exercises from November 4 in Chengdu region there after a gap of almost five years.

The decision to hold the 'Hand-in-Hand' series of exercises from November 4-14 was taken in a meeting between Indian and Chinese military officials in New Delhi, sources said.

During the war games, the two sides will practise counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism manoeuvres under the UN mandate, they said.

The third edition of the exercise is being held after a gap of almost five years after the drills in Belgaum in December 2008. The first edition of the exercise was held in Kunming in China in 2007.

After the denial of visa to the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen B S Jaswal by China in 2010, New Delhi had frozen all bilateral defence exchanges with Beijing.

The two sides decided to resume the joint exercises in 2012 after the meeting between the then Chinese defence minister Gen Liang Guanglie and his Indian counterpart A K Antony in New Delhi.

Recently, the two countries also decided to ramp up their military exchanges by having joint exercises between their navies and air forces.

The exchange of officers in training institutions is also planned to be enhanced by the two countries.

Several instances of Chinese incursions have taken place in the last few years but the Army has been trying to downplay them as routine events.

However, it was engaged in a face-off with the PLA troops on at least two occasions this year, including incidents in Depsang in April and the latest one being in Choglagam area of Arunachal Pradesh where the Chinese stayed put for four days around Independence Day celebrations.

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