Hand-in-Hand 2019: A 139-strong contingent of the Chinese Army (China’s People’s Liberation Army) arrived here on Friday for the joint military drills with India, officials said. The eighth India-China joint training exercise — ‘Hand-in-Hand 2019’ — would commence on Saturday at Umroi in Meghalaya.
The two-week-long company-level Hand-in-Hand 2019 exercise will take place in the 2nd half of December. Led by Major General Li Shizhong and Senior Col Wang Weijun from the Tibet Military command, the exercise is planned at the company-level with respective battalion headquarters controlling the training, the officials said.
Hand-in-Hand joint military Exercise was 1st started in 2007 in Kunming but was halted after Chinese troops came to Belgaum in Karnataka for 2nd edition of the exercise. The exercised was resumed only 5 years later in 2013 when India and China suspended their military ties because of a staple visa row.
In 2016 after the 6th edition of exercise in Pune it again got derailed because of the 73-day stand-off between two military forces in Sikkim’s Doklam area where troops from both sides (People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers and Indian Soldiers) came face to face.
This situation eased in 2018 and troops from both sides interacted once again in China. Despite the recent skirmishes in Ladakh’s Demchok region where a Chinese group objected to locals celebrating the birthday of Dalai Lama’s, the 2019 drill is still on track.