Dec 20,2007 00:00
BEIJING -- China and India, which control the world's largest armies, were set to have their first military drill marking their improving ties since their 1962 border war.
The weeklong exercise, which was to begin Friday in China's southwest Yunnan Province, is codenamed "Hand-in-Hand 2007 and is designed as a drill against terrorism, China Daily reported.
About 100 troops from each country are involved in the exercise.
The Chinese Defense Ministry said the exercise is aimed at enhancing mutual trust between Chinese and Indian armies.
"It is also aimed at deterring the 'three evil forces' -- separatists, extremists and terrorists -- and promote the strategic partnership for peace and prosperity between China and India," the statement said.
Indian Professor Swaran Singh was quoted as saying, "This reflects the growing mutual trust and understanding between the two sides, including between their military establishments."
As part of their exercise, China and India planned to set up a joint command post, joint battle decision making and conduct of anti-terrorism drills, the Press Trust of India reported.
The two countries are yet to resolve nagging border problems but have agreed to reduce their border troop levels.
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