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China-India border dispute

China and India eye joint military drills as sides seek thaw after face-off on Himalayan border

  • Relations between the Asian giants had been strained after a 73-day military stand-off at their disputed border last year
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 October, 2018, 7:05pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 October, 2018, 7:05pm

China and India aim to hold joint army drills in China before the end of this year, China’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday, as the two countries continue a rapid rapprochement.

Relations between the Asian giants were strained last year over a 73-day military face-off in a remote, high-altitude stretch of their disputed Himalayan border.

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But the neighbours have over recent months been working on mending ties and Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi in August.

Speaking at a regular monthly news briefing, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said that the joint exercise was planned for before the end of this year.

The two countries would meet in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu next month to discuss the arrangements, he added, without giving other details.

India and China fought a war in 1962 and the unresolved dispute over stretches of their 3,500km (2,200 miles) border has clouded relations ever since.

But the two big Asian economies share similar positions on a host of issues including concern about US tariffs and Chinese President Xi Jinping and Modi agreed in April to improve relations.