New Delhi: India and China have agreed to hold their first ever joint army exercise as part of a wider effort to improve ties between the two countries.
The manoeuvre is slated for October and as part of it, 100 Indian troops will be sent to China for a workout in anti-terrorism tactics, the Indian army chief, General JJ Singh, was quoted as saying.
Mountaineering expeditions have been held but a full fledged army exercise - this is the first, confirmed army spokesman Colonel S.K. Sakhuja told AFP.
The agreement comes after the army chief visited China at the end of May, which the defence ministry said had led to a decision on “Engagement and mutual confidence building” including more joint training exercises.
According to Indian sources, China occupies 38,000 sqkm (14,670 square miles) of its territory, while Beijing claims 90,000 sqkm or in other words the whole of the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
Diplomatic contact between the two nations has increased in recent years. Last year was hailed as the India-China friendship year. Industry delegations have gone and called on Mayors of different premiers. Also the Chinese Primier visited earlier this year. Bilateral visits have stepped up economic and political activity with a strong ties of culutre too developing.
Two-way trade too has touched the $2bn (Rs8,000 crore) figure a month.