New Delhi, Aug. 24: India and China will revive a joint army drill this November, five years after the last edition.
A company of troops from the Indian Army’s Sikh Light Infantry will visit the Chengdu Military Region Command in China between November 4 and 14 for the third in the series called “Exercise Hand-in-Hand”.
The first two were held at Kunming in China and at Belgaum in India. Since 2008, however, the exercises were deferred or shelved because of controversies over the issuing of stapled visas or denial of a visa to an Indian army commander and because of transgressions on the frontier.
The Hand-in-Hand series of exercises is a symbolic military engagement that has little relevance to everyday operations. They involve a display of martial arts by the two armies. This first edition in 2007 in Kunming was marked by great bonhomie between the troops after a war game involving joint action against a fictitious group of militants that ensconces itself on the border between India and China.
But the symbolism is in itself relevant as a marker of a diplomatic engagement between the two contending armies, who have often come eyeball-to-eyeball on the frontier since the 1962 war.