New Delhi: India and China are set to conduct their first-ever joint military exercise, in a further sign that relations between the two embittered neighbours may be on the mend. The decision was announced Monday, and comes on the back of a successful visit to China by an Indian military delegation headed by Gen. JJ Singh, chairman of India's Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
The training exercise will be aimed at building confidence in military-to-military relations. The timing and location of the exercise will be announced later. It may be noted that before he left for Beijing, Gen JJ Singh had mentioned to the media that the Chinese army was interested in conducting anti-terrorism maneuvers, hoping to gain insights from the Indian army's success in battling low-intensity insurgencies in the northeast of the country and in the Kashmir region.
The Chinese have only recently begun to acknowledge publicly that they too are faced with a insurgency problem in their Xinjian province, which has a large Muslim population. This is a matter that has been speculated upon for a long period of time in international media.
India's external affairs minister, Pranab Mukherjee, had recently alluded to a court decision in this Chinese region, which had sentenced some people for subversive activities.
China and India have been making tardy progress in improving their relationship after a fighting a war in 1962.