New Delhi: The Army on Saturday, in response to media queries, issued a clarification on a large-scale exercise in the Eastern Command. It also dismissed as ‘unfounded’ that a separate large-scale exercise has been planned on the China border.
The development comes amid reports that China has raised an objection to the Army’s Exercise ‘Him Vijay’, which will be held from 7-10 October and 20-24 October, in Arunachal Pradesh. Chinese President Xi Jinping is slated to visit India in the second week of October for the second informal meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Army sources said, “Formations undertake familiarisation and acclimatisation during the months preceding winters & post-winters. Similar training exercises for all formations of Eastern Command have been undertaken.”
The sources further said, “As 17 Corps is a new raising, not yet fully formed, its troops conduct familiarisation and orientation drills in-depth areas which are generally in the high altitude as a matter of routine. Troops carry out the acclimatisation process to train for high attitude regularly.”
On reports that the Army has also planned a large-scale exercise on the China border, the sources told ANI that such media stories were unfounded.
There have been reports that Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, who was earlier the Chinese ambassador to India, in a meeting in New Delhi on Thursday, with Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, raised the issue of Army’s ‘Him Vijay’ exercise. He is believed to have told the Foreign Secretary that the drill could undermine ‘sincere’ efforts put in by both sides to make the summit a success.
The second informal meet between the two leaders is likely to take place in the second week of October, in the coastal town of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu. The first informal summit between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi took place in Wuhan, China in April last year.