No Cancellation of Sino-Indian Jt Military Exercise; to Be Held Next Year

In reaction to media reports that the Sino-Indian joint army exercise has been “called off”, Government has said that no such drill was planned for this year and that India and China will hold joint military exercise next year.

Vishnu Prakash, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said that the two countries had mutually agreed upon having the exercise next year.

“It was mutually decided during the last exercise that the next joint military exercise would be held in 2010. Therefore, no joint military exercise was planned in 2009,” Prakash said in a statement in New Delhi.

He also informed that joint military exercises were conducted in 2007 and 2008.

In December 2007, the two armies, in a path breaking move, held the first ever exercise, named ‘Hand-in-Hand’ in Kunming province of China, when a 100-strong Indian Army delegation took part in a counter-terrorism exercise.

This was followed up with the second exercise last year when India hosted the Chinese military personnel at Belgaum in Karnataka for a similar counter-terrorism exercise.

China had already informed India that this year it would be busy with its 60th National Day celebrations scheduled for October one and hence would not be able to host the Indian Army personnel for the exercise this year. The two sides, then, decided to hold the exercise in China in 2010.

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