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INDIA, CHINA TO CONDUCT FIRST JOINT ARMY EXERCISES

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
 

 

 

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