Indian and Chinese armies on Monday kicked off their fifth annual anti-terrorism exercise in China's Kunming city as both the sides seek to share their successful experiences in counter-terrorism operations during the 10-day drill.
India for the first time fielded troops from Naga Regiment to take part in the exercises. A contingent of 175 troops from 2nd Battalion of Naga Regiment from Eastern Command reached Kunming by Indian Air Force IL-76 aircraft on Sunday to take part in the exercise.
Both sides are fielding the same number of troops for the joint exercises, which will culminate on October 22, a press release from the Indian embassy said on Monday.
Troops from 14 Corps of China's Chengdu Military Region, which focuses on borders with India are taking in the exercise. Troops of both sides will undergo intensive joint training, which will include 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 press release said.
Observer groups of both armies witnessed an impressive opening ceremony at Dabanqiao Training Base of 14 Group Army at Kunming on Monday.
Indian Ambassador to China Ashok K Kantha and Head of Observers Delegation Lieutenant General Surinder Singh attended the meeting and addressed the participating troops.
From the Chinese side, Lieutenant General Zhou Xiaozhou addressed the participating troops. This is the fifth round of exercises being held by both sides.
The first drill was held in southwest China's YunnanProvince in 2007, followed by drills in Belgaum in Karnataka in 2008. The third round was held in southwest China's Sichuan in 2013, followed by fourth in Pune in 2014.