The 18th round of the India-US joint military exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas’ is now taking place in Uttarakhand, approximately 100 kilometers from the Line of Actual Control near China.
Beijing: China said on Wednesday that it opposes joint Indo-US military exercises near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), claiming that they violate the spirit of the two border agreements signed by New Delhi and Beijing.
The 18th edition of the India-US joint military exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas’ is currently taking place in Uttarakhand, approximately 100 kilometers from the Line of Actual Control.
It aims to improve interoperability and knowledge sharing between the two armies in peacekeeping and disaster relief operations.
This month, the roughly two-week exercise began.
“The joint military exercise between India and the US near the LAC at the China-India border violates the spirit of the 1993 and 1996 agreement between China and India,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference here.
“It does not serve mutual trust between China and India,” he said in response to a question from a Pakistani correspondent.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s reference to the 1993 and 1996 agreements is significant because India has stated that the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) attempts to move a large number of troops to the disputed areas along the LAC in eastern Ladakh in May 2020 violated bilateral agreements that state that the boundary question is resolved through peaceful and friendly consultations.
The annual military exercise between India and the United States aims to exchange best practices, tactics, techniques, and procedures between the armies of the two countries.
“The 18th Edition of India-US Joint Exercise #YudhAbhyas commenced today at Foreign Training Node, Auli. The aim of Joint Exercise is to enhance interoperability & share expertise between both the Armies in Peace Keeping & Disaster Relief Operations. #IndianArmy #IndiaUSFriendship,” the Indian Army tweeted on November 19.
The previous edition of the exercise was conducted at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska, the US in October 2021, officials said.
The Ministry of Defence here on November 15 had said that US Army soldiers of 2nd Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division and Indian Army soldiers from the Assam Regiment will be participating in the exercise.
The drill will also include humanitarian aid and disaster relief (HADR) missions.
According to the government, troops from both countries will rehearse initiating rapid and coordinated assistance efforts in the aftermath of any natural disaster.
The exercise between the armies of India and the United States will allow both armies to share their diverse experiences, skills, and techniques through information exchange.
Also The Chinese military expressed similar reservations about the India-US military exercises in August.
Bilateral ties between the two countries have suffered significantly since the June 2020 Galwan Valley clash between Chinese and Indian armies.
India has consistently emphasized the importance of peace and tranquillity along the LAC to the overall development of bilateral relations with China.