Indian, Chinese armies begin joint exercise
“While we must strive for increased cooperation… we must continue to be prepared to demonstrate the intent and the capability to defend our interests.” Exercises on land have particularly worried neighbors. Among the largest was September’s “Zapad-2013” manoeuvres in Belarus. The Kremlin described these as largely anti-terrorist in nature but foreign analysts said they appeared to revolve heavily around conventional war fighting. CO-OPERATION HOPES, CONFRONTATION FEARS Not everyone believes Moscow can achieve its ambitions. A slump in prices for oil and gas, a major source of revenue, could devastate its budget, and the economy is already slowing.
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Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen Shan said that such exercises will promote exchanges and communication between the two countries. He said terrorism was a global challenge and China and India face similar threats. The exercise, he said, was designed to exchange and consolidate tactical skills and enhance mutual understanding and trust. Lt Gen Bhatia said the exercise was a perfect beginning for renewed bilateral cooperation and friendship. “We intent learning the best practices of each other which would be mutually beneficial for both the armies,” he said. The joint training exercise will witness the participation from about 160 soldiers of 16 Sikh Light Infantry of the Indian Army and a similar strength of 1st Battalion Infantry Division of People’s Liberation Army.
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