India, China hold joint army exercise in Ladakh
Leh, Oct 19: Indian and Chinese armies on Wednesday conducted a day-long exercise focused on humanitarian aid and relief, where a fictitious situation of an earthquake was emulated, an official statement said.
The statement called it a part of "ongoing initiative to enhance interaction and cooperation between India and China", and added that it increased "trust and cooperation between the two border guarding forces along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh".
The second such exercise to be held by the two countries, the joint exercise named "Sino India Cooperation 2016" was held under the provisions of Border Defense Cooperation Agreement, 2013.
The first exercise of the series was held in February this year in eastern Ladakh in Chushul-Moldo area.
The Indian team was led by Brigadier R.S. Raman and the Chinese side was led by Sr Col Fan Jun.
"The exercise was a great success and has not only refined the drills to provide succor to the border population in case of natural calamity but has also increased the level of trust and cooperation between the two border guarding forces along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh," the statement said.
It also said the exercise complements the Hand in Hand series of the India-China joint exercises and the effort of both the nations to enhance cooperation and maintain peace and tranquility along the border areas.
Exercise Hand in Hand series, which started in 2007, was held at Kunming Military Academy in Yunnan province of China in 2015.
The 12-day-long exercise was focused on counter-terrorism and anti-insurgency operations, along with humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations.