Laungewal (Rajasthan), Feb 25 : Defence Minister A.K Antony has said that the next joint exercise of India and China would take place in India.
Antony was speaking while on a visit to a forward post on India's border with Pakistan.
He was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff, General Deepak Kapoor. He also witnessed a demonstration of "The battle of Longewal" that was fought during 1971 war with Pakistan.
"This year, the Indian Army for the first time had a joint exercise with the Chinese Army in Chinese territory; next joint exercise with China will be in Indian territory," Antony said.
The last joint exercise, called "Hand-in-Hand, 2007", was held in China's province of Yunnan in December 2007, involving 100 troops from both countries.
This was in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on exchange and cooperation in the field of defence, signed between India and China in 2006.
China enjoys an "all weather relationship" with Pakistan that for decades has been underpinned by hostility towards India, but in recent years China and India have tried to expand trade and diplomatic ties, though territorial disputes persist.
Both countries share restive border regions and have sought to suppress minority groups agitating for greater autonomy or outright independence.
Antony also said that the Government was moving ahead with its plan to modernise the army.
"Government is committed to give them (the armed forces) whatever most modern equipment they are asking or as per their requirement, either by import or from indigenous sources," he said.
India raised its defence budget by seven per cent to 890 billion rupees for the year ending March 2007 as part of ongoing plans to modernise its 1.3-million strong army.