INDIA, CHINA TO CONDUCT FIRST JOINT ARMY
India and China have agreed to hold
their first ever joint army exercise as part of a wider effort to improve
ties between the one-time Asian enemies, military officials said.
The manoeuvre is slated for October
and will see 100 Indian troops sent to China for a workout in anti-terrorism
tactics, the Indian army chief, General J.J. Singh, was quoted as saying by
the Indian Express newspaper.
The agreement comes after the army
chief visited China at the end of May, which the defence ministry said had
led to a decision on “engagement and mutual confidence building” including
more joint training exercises.
The two nations — who fought a brief
but bloody border war in 1962 conducted joint naval exercises in the East
China Sea in 2003, but otherwise contacts between two of the world’s largest
armed forces have been scant.
India says China occupies 38,000 sq.
km of its territory, while Beijing claims 90,000 sq. km, or the whole of the
northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
Diplomatic contacts between the two
economic rivals have increased in recent years, with many bilateral visits
and two-way trade touching $2 billion a month.
- New Delhi /
Source: AFP via Yahoo / News 8 June 07