The militaries of China and India should “work hand in hand” for the advantage of people of the two countries, the Chinese defense ministry said Thursday, as the armies of the two countries are all established to resume joint military exercises next month after a gap of a year following the Doklam standoff.
The 7th India and China joint military exercises, ‘Hand in Hand’, aiming at counter-terrorism operations will be held in southwest China’s Chengdu city from December 10 to December 23, Defence Ministry spokesman Col Ren Guoqiang told a media briefing here.
Each region will send 100 troops to take part in the 14-day drill, he said.
The exercises will be bridged 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 two sides are creating for the exercises now. The drill will promote understanding among the two militaries and improving their capabilities in fighting terrorism,” Col Ren said.
“True to its name – ‘Hand in Hand’ – we believe China and Indian militaries should work hand in hand for the benefit of people in both the nations,” he stated, adding that the exercises will include live shooting and adoptive and basic training.
After the Doklam standoff, the militaries of the two neighbors made efforts to enhance the strained relations following the first ever informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Chinese city of Wuhan in April this year.
The two sides to part the 9th Defence dialogue held here on November 13. Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Lt Gen Shao Yuanming, Deputy Chief of Joint Staff Department of Central Military Commission, participated in the talks and discussed bilateral relations, military ties, border control as well as regional and international issues.
The two sides agreed to follow the consensus reached by the top leaders of the two countries to promote military relationship under the principle of maintaining peace and tranquillity and improvising the trust, friendship, and cooperation, Col Ren said.
Besides starting the defense dialogue, top leaders from both the countries also 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 took part in the conversation during which they called for intensifying efforts to find a solution to the vexed border dispute.
Questioning on the talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media here on November 26 that the two sides put forward a host of forward-looking and workable proposals and suggestions on advancing boundary talks, upholding peace and stability and promoting cooperation in the border areas in the meeting.
“It is fair to say that the two sides, in general, shared the same views and thinking in many areas,” he said.
Col Ren also stated China and Pakistan will hold 7th joint air force exercises in Bholari air force base in Pakistan from November 30 to December 23.
China will send its fighter jets and bombers and early warning AWACS planes to the exercise, he said, adding the exercise will assist improve combat capability of both sides.