India, China to resume military exercise next week

India, China to resume military exercise next week

After the ceremonial events, the exercise would commence from Dec 11. (File Photo)

More than a year after the Doklam crisis, the armies of India and China are set to resume their annual bilateral military exercise Hand-in-Hand next week.

“The joint exercise will be held between December 10-23 at Chengdu in China. Troops from the Indian side have been selected from 11 Sikh Light Infantry regiment of Indian Army while troops from a unit in the Tibetan military district will be taking part from the Chinese side,” an Indian Army spokesperson said here in a statement.

After the ceremonial events, the exercise would commence from Dec 11 during which both contingents would establish a Joint Command headquarters and launch anti-terror operations. The exercise will involve tactical level counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism operations under the UN mandate.

The annual drill couldn't take place last year due to the Doklam face-off as border guarding troops from both sides stood face to face on the issue of constructing a road on a disputed piece of land near the India-China-Bhutan border.

While the crisis was resolved after 72 days, it took several more high-level meetings between the two neighbours to improve the bilateral relations.

The 2016 edition of the war game was held in Pune while the 2015 drill took place in Kunming, the capital of southwestern China's Yunnan province. The Hand-in-Hand series of army exercise began in 2007 as one of the confidence-building measures between the two military that fought a bitter war in 1962.

The annual drill was suspended for four years after the first two editions in Kunming (2007) and Belgaum (2008), because of a diplomatic row on multiple visa issues, compounded by border frictions.