India and China kicked off a 14-day joint military drill, codenamed ‘Hand-in-Hand 2018’, in Chengdu, the capital city of southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Tuesday. This is the seventh joint training in the series between the two countries since 2007.
In the joint military drill, troops from both sides will interact with each other. They are scheduled to have basic training, establish a unified anti-terrorism command and conduct live-fire anti-terrorism operations.
“We have a lot to learn from each other. By these exchanges and such exercises, we can achieve a lot of synergy, understanding of each other’s procedures and achieve anti-terror capability.” The Colonel said it will also increase friendship between the two armies.
According to the Chinese military news, China’s head Wang Weijun said “through this joint exercise, the two armies can learn good training methods from each other, which is conducive to improving their capabilities in response to the menace of terrorism.” Wang said it will promote mutual trust between the two countries and bring their exchange and cooperation to a higher level.
This exercise comes after a gap of a year, with the 2017 Doklam standoff in the Sikkim sector of the border. The Doklam area is disputed between Bhutan and China and is the subject of long-running negotiations between them.
In regards to the standoff, India in a press note had justified its actions stating it had acted in coordination with the Royal Government of Bhutan.
“But the issue was not just about Bhutanese interests but the fact that the Chinese action would represent a significant change of status quo with security implications for India”, the press note added.
In one year, India and China relations have been reset and both have come up stronger than ever.