The Chinese and Indian armies kicked off their first joint anti-terrorism military training in southwest China on the morning of 21DEC07.
The two armies each dispatched about 100 ground troops for the training, code-named “Hand-in-Hand 2007”, to Kunming, popularly known as the “City of Perpetual Spring”.
Major General Xiong Zuoming, commander of the Chinese troops, said at the opening ceremony of the joint training, “Both China and India are resolutely opposed to terrorism and actively committed to strengthening international cooperation in fighting terrorism.
“But we must be aware that factors endangering world peace and stability still exist. Terrorism, in particular, has become a public enemy to the international community,” Xiong told the ceremony.
“We would like to join hands with India to make unremitting efforts to push for building a harmonious world featuring long-lasting peace and common prosperity,” he added.
The joint training was intended to enhance mutual understanding and trust, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on 20DEC12.
Qin also said the training also aimed to strengthen the two countries’ exchanges in the field of anti-terrorism, deter the “three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism, and promote the development of the bilateral strategic partnership.
China and India, as two important neighbors and the world’s two largest developing nations, enjoyed a consensus about safeguarding world peace and promoting development and cooperation, he noted.
The training will run until Dec. 27. During the training, Chinese and Indian soldiers will display their own weapons and equipment, jointly accomplish a series of training tasks including psychological training and tactics training, and conduct a drill that involves rescuing “hostages” from “terrorists.”
The joint training is being carried out to implement the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding for Exchanges and Cooperation in the Field of Defense signed between the defense ministries of China and India on May 29, 2006.
Both Chinese and Indian soldiers performed their unique skills on the first day of training, trying to leave a deep impression onthe other side.
Chinese soldiers presented a “Hard Qigong” show by withstanding strong attacks by bricks and wooden sticks, while Indian soldiers performed yoga, both winning applauds from the other side.
Before the training, military expert panels from China and India met in Kunming and Calcutta to discuss specific plans and reach a consensus.
“I will make best performance in the joint training and at the same time, I will learn from the Indian soldiers in a modest attitude,” said Yang Yong, 25, a non commissioned officer (Class 2) of the Chinese troops.
“This is another step to deepen our cooperation and understanding. I am confident that both armies will benefit a lot,” said Brig. Dadwal of the Indian army, also commander of the Indian troops sent for training.
“I am glad to be here to share anti-terrorism experiences with Chinese soldiers, and if possible, I will learn some Chinese kung fu from them,” said Param Harsh, 25, captain of the Indian army.
Over recent years, China and India have been expanding their contacts and exchanges in military field, against the backdrop of their increasingly warming political and economic relations.
On Nov. 14, 2003, a three-vessel Indian warship fleet joined the Chinese navy to conduct a search and rescue training code-named “Dolphin-0311” off the coast of Shanghai, the first-ever Sino-Indian joint naval training in the field of non-conventional security.
On Aug. 28, 2004, the Chinese and Indian border troops held a joint mountaineering training in the border area of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, the first of its kind between the two armed forces.
“We hope Chinese and Indian armies, in the future, can carry out many more exchanges and cooperation in diversified forms and subjects,” said Wu Xiaoyi, deputy director of the Asian Affairs Bureau under the Foreign Affairs Office of China’s Defense Ministry.
“The only aim is to further boost the bilateral relationship that has already demonstrated a good momentum of growth,” he said.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has conducted a string of joint anti-terrorism military trainings and exercises with foreign armies in the past years, endeavoring to enhance mutual-trust, strengthen exchanges in the field of anti-terrorism, deter the “three evil forces”, and safeguard regional peace and stability.
The latest one was “Peace Mission-2007” joint anti-terrorism military exercise held by the six member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) from Aug. 9 to 17 this year in Chelyabinsk in Russia’s Ural Mountainous region and in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
More than 4,000 troops from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated in the exercise, the largest of its kind within the framework of SCO since the organization was founded on June 15, 2001.