(From Press Trust of India)
China Monday said it will continue to strengthen defense cooperation with India as the two nations’ armies kicked off the fifth round of annual anti-terror military drills in the Chinese city of Kunming aimed at enhancing mutual understanding, communication and cooperation.
“The drills will play a significant role in safeguarding domestic security and strengthening mutual trust between militaries of both sides and contribute to the sound development of bilateral relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying told a media briefing here.
“We will continue strengthen our cooperation on national defence and inject more positive energy to our bilateral ties,” she said replying to a question.
India fielded a contingent of 175 troops from 2nd Battalion of Naga Regiment from Eastern Command which also looks after the border with China while China deployed troops from 14 Corps of China’s Chengdu Military Region, whose focus is on Indian borders.
Both sides pressed same number of troops for the joint exercises, which will culminate on October 22, a press release by the Indian Embassy here said.
The purpose of the exercise is to develop joint operating capability, share useful experience in counter-terrorism operations and to promote friendly exchanges between the armies of India and China, the embassy said.
Troops from both sides will undergo intensive joint training, which will include displays, demonstrations, and a comprehensive joint exercise during the drills.
The three-phase integrated exercises include armament display, military demonstration, and troop training, it said.
The armament display includes light weapons and equipment for military engineering and logistics, while the demonstration will feature shooting, group tactics and unarmed combat, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
In the second phase, troops will be trained in combat, anti-terrorism tactics, humanitarian aid and disaster-relief communication and the two sides will also conduct joint maneuvers.
As always, the Sino-Indian military drill is being unfairly targeted by West. Western public opinion is paying close attention to Sino-Indian military ties, as well as the impact of the Sino-Indian border disputes on Asian geopolitics, an article in Global Times said.
Given a series of military confrontations between the two nations near the line of actual control, foreign media expressed surprise toward the joint drill, as if the time is not yet mature for Beijing and New Delhi to conduct such an exercise, the article said.
However, confrontations in recent years were not created on purpose, but happened by accident. Western media tend to view these issues with colored glasses, and therefore often misread the accidental confrontations on the borders.
Not a single bullet has been fired for over a quarter of a century and both countries have shown great maturity in the last couple of decades to ensure and commit to economic cooperation, the article said.