Chinese army arrives in Belgaum for drill

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Indicative of the growing military-military cooperation between India and China, a 137-member team of the People’s Liberation Army arrived at this cantonment town Thursday for the second joint anti-sinoterror drill with the Indian Army beginning here Friday.

The drill, named Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2008, “is aimed at expanding and strengthening military-to-military ties between the two armed forces”.

During the course of joint training that will last till Dec 14, the Chinese troops from an infantry battalion of the Chengdu Military Area Command and Indian Army troops from for a Maratha Light Infantry battalion “will undergo joint tactical manoeuvres and drills, interoperability training, and joint command post procedures, culminating in a joint counter-terrorist operational exercise with a simulated enemy.The helicopter assets of the Indian Air Force will also be incorporated for conducting special heli-borne manoeuvres and assault operations.

The Chinese contingent had earlier arrived in a military aircraft at Pune. After a brief reception at the Pune airfield, six Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft transported the Chinese army personnel and their stores were to Belgaum.

The joint exercise is the second in the series, the previous one having been conducted in Kunming, China late last year.


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