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India-China joint military exercise, codenamed 'Hand in Hand', begins today

The opening ceremony of the drills will be held on December 11.

India-China joint military exercise, codenamed 'Hand in Hand', begins today
Image Courtesy: Indian Defence Forum

BEIJING: The armies of China and India would hold a joint 14-day drill from Monday in southwest China's Chengdu city. 

The opening ceremony of the drills will be held on December 11, they said.

The joint military drill is being held to improve the capabilities of the two armies in fighting terrorism and promote mutual understanding, the Defence Ministry said.

Each side will send 100 troops to take part in the 7th India and China joint military exercises codenamed 'Hand in Hand'. 

This will focus on counter-terrorism operations, Defence Ministry spokesman Col Ren Guoqiang told a media briefing. 

"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.

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. 

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.

The two sides also 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. 

(With PTI inputs)