India, China to undertake joint air exercise in 2012: IAF chief

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (ANI): Air Chief Marshal PV Naik has said the Indian Air Force (IAF) would conduct a joint air exercise with the Chinese Air Force in 2012.

"We hope we will be able to do an exercise with China n 2012. Planning has commenced, but political acceptance, suitable dates etc will take some time to come," Naik told reporters here while briefing media persons about the IAF's upcoming firepower demonstration.

While the firepower demonstration of IAF comes close on the heels of the high-level talks of India and Pakistan, scheduled for February 25, Naik said that there is no link between the two events as the IAF had planned this demonstration much ahead.

" Please do not link any other motive to this. I have not consulted anybody. We have decided amongst ourselves that for a long time we have not had a demonstration of this kind, to build the public's faith in the Indian Air Force," he said.

The Indian and Chinese navies had held their first joint exercise in November 2003 from Shanghai.

The first bilateral army exercise between India and China was organised in Kunming China late in 2007.

The next joint army exercise was held in India in December 2008. The next round of these will be held in either country in 2011. (ANI)

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