India-China military drill will have positive impact on ties: Beijing

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Beijing, Dec 10 (IANS) The two-week long India-China military exercise in Chengdu city will have a positive impact on bilateral ties, an official said here on Monday.

The world’s largest standing armies, which hurled stones at each other at their disputed border and faced-off for 73 days in Doklam, jointly kicked off a counter-terrorism drill on Monday that will continue till December 23.

“I hope the India-China joint military exercise can have good result,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said here at a press briefing.

“I hope exchanges between the two militaries can achieve positive outcomes, thus injecting impetus to the bilateral ties.

“After the Wuhan meet between President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, China and India have reached consensus on many issues,” Lu said.

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“Since the beginning of this year, Xi has met Modi four times. I think the two countries should implement the consensus reached between the two leaders including the contact between the two militaries.”

The Indian Army contingent led by Colonel Puneet Tomar arrived in Chengdu for the “Hand-In-Hand” exercise which will be the 7th version of the drill.

The military stand-off between both armies in Doklam plateau severely hit ties and led to the cancellation of the exercise in 2017.

The drills, which aim at enhancing their counter-terrorism capabilities and mutual understanding, will include live shooting and adoptive and basic training.

Chengdu is the capital of China’s southwestern province Sichuan which comes under the Western Theatre Command, the newly-formed of the five war zones of the People’s Liberation Army.

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Tibet also comes under the same command.

India and China have the world’s 9th longest border which is largely disputed. The two went to war in 1962 and have had military skirmishes since then.

Their latest and one of the most serious showdowns was last year at Doklam, a contested region between China and Bhutan close to India’s arterial highway where the Chinese were building a road.

Both sides are in talks to set up a military hotline to avert a Doklam-like crisis in the future.

–IANS

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