No Sino-Indian joint army exercise this year



New Delhi: There won't be the annual Sino-India joint army exercise this year too.

The two sides, however, are now working towards holding the counter-terrorism war game in 2011.

A decision in this regard was taken by the two countries at their annual defence dialogue held in Beijing during Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar's two-day visit last week.

"The 2011 Sino-Indian joint Army exercise will be held in China. There will be no exercise in 2010. The preparation for the 2011 exercise has begun," a Defence Ministry official said here today.

The two sides had not scheduled any exercise in 2009, as People's China celebrated its 60th anniversary.

"Now that the first official meeting between the two countries took place, they have begun preparations for the 2011 exercise," the official said, explaining why there would be no war game this year.

The two countries had for the first time exercised jointly in December 2007 when an Indian contingent went to Kunming military base in Yunan province in China.

The reciprocal exercise -- called Hand-in-Hand -- was held in Belgaum in Karnataka in November 2008.

Kumar, who led a 10-member delegation, held talks with Chinese Deputy Chief of General Staff General Ma Xiatian regarding the exercise, when both sides expressed the hope that defence exchanges mechanism would lead to strong mutual trust and confidence.

"Both India and China agreed to maintain peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and reiterated that existing mechanism of Border Personnel Meetings should be used effectively to defuse any incidents, which may take place along the LAC," the official said.

The two sides also discussed counter-terrorism measures, regional security situation and defence cooperations issues.

They also agreed to share information on the anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden, where both the countries' navies have deployed their warships to ward off the sea brigands.

Apart from military exchanges in the field of training and at academies, they also decided to hold sports meeting for personnel of Indian and Chinese military along the borders to promote mutual trust, the official added.

During the visit, Kumar and his delegation also visited the 6th Armoured Division of the Peoples' Liberation Army and Academy of Military Sciences, both in Beijing.

PTI