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India, China 'Hand-in-Hand' joint exercise begins

By Devidas Deshpande
November 18, 2014 12:43 IST
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The fourth edition of the India-China joint training exercise Hand-in-Hand 2014 kick-started on Monday at the Aundh Military Cantonment in Pune.

The aim of the joint training is to share the drills and practices learnt while tackling insurgency and terrorism, thereby promoting healthy military to military relations between the two armies and developing joint strategies of conducting operations in a counter terrorism environment.

The exercise is planned at the company level with respective battalion headquarters controlling the training. While the second edition of the exercise was held at Belgaum in 2008, it has been conducted twice in China in 2007 and 2013.

The training and manoeuvres, to be conducted at Aundh Military Cantonment, College of Military Engineering and firing ranges at Dighi, Pune, are to be supervised by a joint directing panel comprising senior officials of both the nations.

In his remarks at the opening ceremony, Lt General Shi Xiangyuan, deputy commander of Chengdu military command of the People’s Liberation Army, said: “India and China can establish peace in Asia together. Both countries share a common culture and if they join hands, it can help fight terrorism.”

His Indian counterpart, Corps Commander Lt General Bobby Mathews said, “The joint military exercise is an opportunity for both the armies. We can learn techniques and skills required for counter-terrorism and counter-infiltration”.

The opening ceremony was followed by both contingents displaying their weapons which included assault rifles, grenade launchers and other sophisticated equipment.

The ceremony concluded with an enthralling and mesmerising display of Kalaripayattu (martial art of Kerala), Khukri dance and Malkhamb by soldiers of the Indian Army and a mass martial arts display by the Chinese contingent.

The exercise will go on till November 25.

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Devidas Deshpande