India, China joint military exercises
India, China are conducting joint military training exercises in Pune from Tuesday. [Representational Image] In Picture: An Indian army officer (L) talks with a Chinese soldier at the 4,310 metre high Nathu-la pass on the country's northeastern border with China in this 9 April 2005 file photo.Reuters

India is hosting the sixth annual joint training exercise between Indian Army and People's Liberation Army of China, called "Hand in Hand 2016." The training exercise will be held in Pune from Tuesday, November 15, to November 27.

The aim of the exercise is to promote healthy military to military relations with the northern neighbour, with whom India has some unresolved boundary disputes. This exercise will also enable both sides to share their expertise in drills and practices with respect to insurgency and terrorism. They will develop joint strategies to conduct counter-terrorism operations. The drill is also expected to hone the basic military skills of the contingents participating in the exercise.

"The exercise is planned at the company level with respective battalion headquarters controlling the training. The exercise is supervised by a Joint Directing Panel comprising senior officials of both the countries," said a statement from the defence ministry.

The annual "Hand in Hand 2016" exercise is held alternately in India and China, the last such exercise was held at Kunming Military Academy at Yunnan Province in China.

The training exercises will be in three phases, with the first phase involving familiarisation with weapons and equipment. The second phase will include basic training with combat conditioning, personal weapon firing, support weapon and practice of drills that include establishing covert observation post, house clearing, cordon and search and humanitarian and disaster relief operations. Phase three of the exercise will be a joint exercise that will see the participation of senior military observers of both the countries, the statement added.

Indian Army is reaching out to all its immediate neighbours, and completed a joint training exercise with Nepal called Surya Kiran on Sunday. Indian Army is also conducting joint exercises with Bangladesh, called Sampriti 2016.

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