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Doklam standoff: India-China joint military exercise uncertain this year

We sent a message to the Chinese side but there was no response: Govt

IANS  |  New Delhi 

China, flag, India
Photo: Shutterstock

Given the current stand-off over the plateau, the fate of the annual India-Hand-in-Hand joint military drill, first held in 2007, appears uncertain with no word from the Chinese side, which is supposed to host the exercise this year.

An Initial Planning Conference (IPC) is usually held in the host country in June-July but so far there has been a studied silence from Beijing, sources said.

"The takes place in the country where the exercise would be held. We sent a message to the Chinese side but there was no response," the source said.

"It should have happened latest but July end, but the never took place," the source added.

From all possible indications, the is unlikely to take place any time soon.

After the IPC, a Final Planning Conference (FPC) is held in the visiting country, usually in September.

The exercise is usually held in October or November.

"We asked for details of progress on holding the exercise, but we have no communication from the Chinese side it," the source said.

So far, six editions of the exercise, which has focused on anti-terror operations in past years, have been held.

The first joint exercise was held in 2007 Kunming in China's Yunnan province and in 2008 in Belgaum in

However, following China's denyial of a to the Northern Army Commander in 2009, citing its "sensitivities" on Kashmir, the exercise remained suspended for almost five years.

It was resumed in 2013 and had been held regularly since then, the last being at Pune's Aundh Military Camp in 2016.

The has in past said that the basic objective of the drill is to enhance confidence and trust between the two armies, which may be called upon to grapple with anti-terrorism operations under the mandate.

The has also said that the exercises is an important step to uphold the values of peace, prosperity and stability in the region.

That, however, seems a distant dream as a stand-off continues since mid-June at the tri-junction of India, and Bhutan when Indian moved in to prevent from constructing a road on Bhutanese territory in the plateau. China claims the plateau is a part of South

Earlier this week, China claimed had partially withdrawn its troops, which New Delhi firmly denied.

On July 25, a took place in Uttarakhand when Chinese came about one kilometer into Indian territory.

First Published: Thu, August 03 2017. 20:26 IST