WATCH: Indian, Chinese troops do Bhangra, share a light moment during Hand-in-Hand military exercise

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New Delhi | Updated: December 12, 2018 6:13:26 PM

A fresh chapter in military diplomacy started when the troops of India and China met after two years for the joint Hand-in-Hand exercise and practiced Battle Obstacle Course, which involved tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency environment.

Doklam, india china ties, india china military excercise, hand in hand miltary excercisesAccording to the Indian Army, “Our troops excelled in acquiring the skills to negotiate Chinese Battle Obstacles.” (Reuters)

A fresh chapter in military diplomacy started when the troops of India and China met after two years for the joint Hand-in-Hand exercise and practiced Battle Obstacle Course, which involved tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency environment. The exercise Hand-in-Hand started on Tuesday and will go on until Dec 23 at Chengdu in China.

According to the Indian Army, “Our troops excelled in acquiring the skills to negotiate Chinese Battle Obstacles.” The exercise will involve tactical level operations in an international counter insurgency and counter terrorist environment under UN mandate.

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Besides promoting close relations between the two countries, the exercise between the armies is an effort to enhance the ability of joint exercise commander to take military contingents of both nations under command. Indian Army sent troops from the 11 Sikh Light Infantry while troops from a unit of Tibetan Military district represented the Chinese side.

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The last exercise was in 2016, but in 2017 due to standoff between the two armies over Doklam, the exercise was skipped. The Doklam sector is a strategically important area which is claimed by Bhutan.

However, post Doklam, leaders of both countries have met several times both in formal as well as in informal settings in an effort to improve relations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan in April this year which has been subsequently followed by four more meetings in recent months.

Also, recently, during meetings between defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe, the two sides decided that both sides will work on a bilateral pact on defence cooperation and also agreed to increase military to military interactions in an effort to eliminate Doklam like standoffs in the future.

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