December 24: Troops from Indian Army that were engaged in the Hand-In-Hand joint military training between India and China returned home on Sunday. Indian and Chinese troops concluded the seventh round of counter-terrorism military exercises in China's Chengdu city on Saturday. Over 100-strong contingents from both nations conducted the drills while living and dining together to build up a sense of camaraderie during the exercise.
This 12-day joint anti-terrorism training drill between the Chinese and Indian armies started on December 11 in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province. This year's 'Hand-in-Hand' exercises focussing on urban terrorism were significant as they were held after a gap of a year. The drills were not held last year following the 73-day military standoff at Doklam which ratcheted up tensions between the two armies.
The specially-designed drills were in keeping with the spirit of the Wuhan Summit held in April between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping to improve relations between the two militaries.
The Indian contingent headed by Col Puneet Tomar took part in the exercises to foster closer ties between the two militaries which guard the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The theme of the exercises, including live firing and demonstration of driving skills, was to rescue hostages held by terrorists in an urban environment. The troops also showcased counter-terrorism tactics and skills, such as combat firing, and rope bridge crossing. The exercises concluded with mixed teams from both armies demonstrating seven rounds of different counter terrorism drills practiced by them during the fortnight-long event.
“The joint training has not only upgraded combat capabilities but also enhanced mutual understanding and friendship between Chinese and Indian officers and soldiers”, said Major General Li Shizhong, a senior representative of the Chinese People's Liberation Army after conclusion of the training.