Military Exercise With US ‘Totally Different’: India On Drills Near LAC

File photo for representational purposes only

New Delhi- As China opposes the third party meddling in the India-China border issue in reference to India-US joint military drills Yudh Abhyas, India on Thursday said that military exercise near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is “totally different”.

Speaking at a weekly presser, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the two sides should stick to agreements of the past.

“I don’t understand the reference to third-party interference. India US exercise is totally different and I don’t know what colour has been given to that. It is targeted and a violation of agreements,” he said.

China on Thursday strongly opposed the war games scheduled between India and the US near the disputed Sino-India border in October, stating that it is an interference in the bilateral boundary issue and a violation of agreements between New Delhi and Beijing that no military drill will be held near the Line of Actual Control(LAC).

“We firmly oppose any third party to meddle in the China-India border issue in any form,” said Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) at a regular press conference in Beijing on Thursday when being asked about his comments on the ongoing and future US-India joint military exercises near the China-India border.

As the spokesperson said, the China-India border issue is a matter between the two countries. Both sides have maintained effective communications at all levels and agreed to properly handle the situation through bilateral dialogues. In light of the relevant agreements signed by China and India in 1993 and 1996, neither side is allowed to conduct military exercise against the other in areas near the Line of Actual Control, Tan stressed.

In the end, the spokesperson called out to the Indian side to keep its commitment.

“It is hoped that the Indian side will strictly abide by the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and the relevant agreements, uphold its commitment to resolving border issues through bilateral channels, and maintain peace and tranquility in the border area with practical actions.”

India and US would be holding their regular Yudhabhyas series of wargames in the Auli area in Uttarakhand near the China border.

The exercise would be held from October 18 to 31 in the mountainous terrain in the area which has seen the additional deployment of assets and troops in the last two years, the official said.

The Americans are in a tense relationship with the Chinese due to the Taiwan issue while the Indian military has been in a standoff with them since May 2020 timeframe.

This would be the 18th of the Yudhabhyas wargames between India and the US to help enhance interoperability between the two sides.

The two armies had last held the wargames in Alaska where they carried out drills in extremely cold conditions.

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