India snubs China on military drill with US

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, December 1: India has snubbed China for objecting to the military drill with the US, which is being held in Uttarakhand. India has told China to mind its own business.

The Indian snub to China came in the backdrop of the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian claiming that the Indo-US military drill “violates the spirit of the agreement between China and India in 1993 and 1996”. He had also claimed that the military drill near the India-China border “does not serve the mutual trust between China and India”.

India and the US are holding joint military exercise in Auli in Uttarakhand. The location of the drill is about 100 kilometres from the line of actual control between India and Tibet. The Chinese objection also came amid a media leak of Beijing telling Washington to not interfere in the border tension with India. China in 2020 camped in eastern Ladakh across the line of actual control to trigger another border row with India and ever since relations between New Delhi and Beijing have nosedived. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had even avoided Chinese President Xi Jinping in Samarkand during the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit. There has been no high level official contact with the two countries.

Reacting to the Chinese objection, India said China should look into its own record of violations of agreements between the two countries. It also said Beijing has no right to comment on what New Delhi does within its territory.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi, while reacting to the Chinese objection on the joint military drill with the US, said: “These exercises with the US have nothing to do with 1993 and 1996 agreements. China should introspect on the 1993 and 1996 agreements.” He added that it is for Beijing to introspect the number of times it has violated the agreements. Bagchi was unsparing in his reaction, saying “a third country (China) doesn’t need to inspect what India is doing. India can conduct exercises with whomever it wants.”

It may be noted that India has been regularly holding the military exercises with the friendly countries. Malabar exercise is also being held regularly. The US has also stepped up its engagements with the leaders of Tibet, who stay in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.

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