BEIJING: India and China will resume their joint military drills after a one-year gap on Tuesday in the southwest Chinese city of Chengdu to improve capabilities in fighting terrorism and promote mutual understanding, officials said on Sunday.
The opening ceremony of the drills will be held on December 11, they said.
Each side will send 100 troops to take part in the 7th India and China joint military exercises - 'Hand in Hand' - which will focus on counter-terrorism operations, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Col Ren Guoqiang said last month. The exercises will be held after a gap of one year as both the sides were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam in the Sikkim sector of the border in 2017.
The strained relations between the two sides later improved resulting in an informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Chinese city of Wuhan in April this year. "The drill will promote understanding between the two militaries and improving their capabilities in fighting terrorism," Col Ren said.
The exercises, which will conclude on December 23, will include live shooting and adoptive and basic training, he said, adding that true to its name 'Hand in Hand', China and Indian militaries should also work hand in hand for the benefit of people in both the nation.
Top leaders from both the countries met on November 24 at the 21st India-China border talks held at Dujiangyan near Chengdu in southwestern Sichuan province. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and China's State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who are the designated Special Representatives, took part in the talks. They called for intensifying efforts to find a solution to the vexed border dispute.
Earlier at the 9th Defence dialogue held here on November 13 between Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Lt Gen Shao Yuanming, Deputy Chief of Joint Staff Department of Central Military Commission, the two sides discussed bilateral relations, military ties, border control as well as regional and international issues.