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India plans joint military exercises with China

June 20, 2012 21:34 IST

Defence ties between India and China are set to gain momentum with New Delhi mulling joint exercises with Beijing next year after the just concluded naval drills in Shanghai held after a gap of six years.

India is planning to propose joint military exercises with China which will also include army-to-army exercises, sources said.

The armies of the two countries last held counter insurgency and counter terrorism wargames codenamed 'Hand-in-Hand' in 2009 in Belgaum in India and prior to that in China in 2007.

India and China had agreed to enhance defence exchanges and communications for better understanding and mutual trust during the fourth round of Annual Defence Dialogue held in New Delhi in December last year after a tumultuous two years for military ties.

New Delhi had suspended military exchanges with China in August 2010 after it had refused to grant permission to a senior Indian Army Commander to proceed on an official trip to Beijing.

As an immediate fallout of the event, India refused to hold the third round of military exercise and had put all other military exchanges on hold.

Meanwhile, top-level officers of the Indian and Chinese navies held discussions to improve the ties between the two countries as four Indian warships took part in basic naval exercises there.

During the exercises, Eastern Naval Commander Vice Admiral Anil Chopra held talks with Commander of the Chinese East Sea fleet Vice Admiral Su Zhiquian to strengthen ties between the two countries in areas such as counter-piracy operations, Navy officials said.

They said during the stay of the warships there, INS Shivalik held passex exercises with its Chinese counterpart PLAN Maanshan during which they had cross deck helicopter landings and other basic exercises.

The Navy also threw open its two warships Shivalik and Shakti for visitors and over 1,500 people including 60 PLA Navy officers to see the two vessels.

Navy officials said the departure of the two warships was stalled by 24 hours due to two cyclones but now the four vessels have moved from there and are in the South China Sea on their way back to home base Vishakhapatnam before which they will make port calls in some South East Asian countries.

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