The next edition of India and China military drill, that was resumed last year following a freeze over the Doklam stand-off, will be held later this year. An official said there that the joint military exercise ‘Hand-in-Hand’ will be held in Umroi near Shillong, Meghalaya. The last exercise, which was the seventh edition, was held in Chengdu in December 2018.
In Umroi, the two forces will focus on counter-terror operations, establishment of joint command post and joint combat drill though a detailed planning meeting will be held in August. ‘Hand-in-Hand’ was started in 2007 in Kunming but was halted after the Chinese troops came to Belgaum in Karnataka for the second edition. The exercised resumed only five years later in 2013 as New Delhi and Beijing had suspended their military ties because of a visa row. After the 6th edition in Pune in 2016, the exercise again got derailed because of the 73-day stand-off between the two forces in Sikkim`s Doklam area where the troops from both sides came face to face.
The situation eased last year and the troops of the two sides interacted once again in China and videos of People`s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers dancing with their Indian counterpart also went viral. The drill is on track this year despite a recent incident in Demchok region of Ladakh where a Chinese group objected to locals celebrating the Dalai Lama`s birthday.