India, China set to resume drill

India and China will resume the annual joint Army exercise ‘Hand-in-Hand’ in December in China’s Chengdu region, an Army official said. The drill was cancelled last year due to tense relations in the aftermath of the Doklam standoff. “The Exercise Planning Conference is scheduled to be held from November 1-3 at Chengdu in China to work out the modalities of the exercise,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “The final dates of the exercise, which will tentatively take place in mid-December, will be finalised during the conference.” Following the Wuhan summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in April, the two countries have initiated several measures to normalise relations. About 175 personnel from each side will take part. The Indian sidewould be represented by troops from the 11 Sikh Light regiment under the Northern Command. The scope of the exercise is to understand transnational terrorism and evolve joint drills for the conduct of counter terrorism operations, in addition to Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations. In three phases The exercise will be held in three phases — familiarisation, basic training and the joint exercise. Separately, the Army has for the first time organised a forward area tour to Leh on October 16 and 17 for interested foreign service attaches posted in India.

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