China, India to Hold Fourth Hand-in-Hand Military Exercise in Pune
By Conviron Altatis
November 15, 2014
The Chinese Army will join the fourth edition of Hand-in-Hand joint exercise with Indian Army in Pune.
China and India will hold the fourth edition of the exercise series called Hand-in-Hand at the Aundh Military Cantonment in Pune starting Nov. 17, Monday, ABP Live reported.
Currently, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is touring ASEAN countries as well as Australia, which coincides with the fourth edition of the Hand-in-Hand joint army exercise.
Hand-in-Hand was instituted in 2007. Its first edition was held in Kunming, China, followed by the second edition held in the Belgaum district of Karnataka, India.
The third edition of the exercise did not immediately follow the second. Its revival was held in Chengdu, the provincial capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan in Nov. 2013, although it was almost cancelled after China refused a visa to the northern commander of the Indian Army.
According to army sources, counter-insurgency drills, practices and techniques would be shared during the company-level exercises.
An army statement said that the exercise will “enrich the two contingents in further honing basic military skills” as it forms “part of the different levels of the military-to-military engagement across the entire spectrum of operations.”
A joint directing panel comprising the Chinese PLA and the Indian Army senior officials will oversee the drill, and for some maneuvers, the Indian Air Force helicopters will be deployed.
Meanwhile, Chinese troops have been in Pakistan imparting arms training to Pakistan Army, according to a report given by the Border Security Force (BSF) to the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Economic Times reported.
According to the BSF, Pakistan Army is taking control of key Pakistani border posts from the Pakistani Rangers, reinforcing manpower and posting snipers to aim at Indian troops.
For India, this is a major concern that intensified tension on the border that led to firing between Pakistani and Indian soldiers in October. On Oct. 6, Indian army killed five Pakistani soldiers during a retaliatory firing.
While China’s presence in Pakistan is only for weapon-handling training, it may raise tensions between China and India, an intelligence official noted.