Tuesday, August 19, 2008

December date for second Indo-China military drill

December date for second Indo-China military drill


New Delhi (PTI): Building on the goodwill generated in last year's ground-breaking military drill, Indian and Chinese armies are likely to hold their second joint exercise in December on Indian soil to enhance the steadily improving ties between the two powerful militaries of the world.

A high-level Chinese military delegation will visit New Delhi later this month to finalise details of the joint exercise which officials say will be much "bigger" this year.

"The second joint military exercise between People's Liberation Army (PLA) and Indian Army is likely to be held in December," a top Chinese diplomat told PTI.

"A Chinese delegation will be in New Delhi after the Olympic Games to finalise dates and other details of the exercise," he said.

Asked about preparations of the PLA, he said they are looking forward to participate in the joint exercise as it will help enhancing ties between the two armies.

In a sign of warmer ties, India and China conducted their first ever joint exercise code-named 'Hand-in-Hand 2007' at Kunming Military Academy and in a hilly terrain near Kunming in China's Yunnan province from December 21 to 25 last year with the spotlight on anti-terrorism drill.

As many as 103 troops from the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry and an equal number from People's Liberation Army took part in the landmark exercise as part of confidence-building measures that upgraded the Sino-Indian military ties.

An official in the Defence Ministry said the "details of the exercise are being worked out" for this year's exercise which will take ties between the two largest armies to a "new high".

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