New Delhi: India and China will hold
joint military exercises next year and no such drill is
planned for this year, government said on Thursday.
Reacting to media reports that the Sino-Indian joint
army exercise had been "called off", spokesperson of the
Ministry of External Affairs Vishnu Prakash said the two
countries had mutually decided to have the exercise next year.
"It was mutually decided during the last exercise that
the next joint military exercise would be held in 2010.
Therefore, no joint military exercise was planned in 2009,"
Prakash said in a statement here.
He said India and China had conducted joint military
exercises in 2007 and 2008.
In a path breaking move, the two armies held the first
ever exercise, named `Hand-in-Hand` in December 2007 in
Kunming province of China, when a 100-strong Indian Army
delegation took part in a counter-terrorism exercise.
This was followed up with the second exercise last
year when India hosted the Chinese military personnel at
Belgaum in Karnataka for a similar counter-terrorism exercise.
China had already informed India that this year it
would be busy with its 60th National Day celebrations
scheduled for October one and hence would not be able to host
the Indian Army personnel for the exercise this year.
The two sides, then, decided to hold the exercise in
China in 2010.