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Chinese foreign ministry fumes at India-US military exercises in Uttarakhand

India-US military exercise Yuddh Abhyas close to the Indo-Tibet border (Photo: Twitter)

China has expressed its unhappiness over the joint military exercises between India and the US near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Uttarakhand. Beijing says that the exercises do not help build bilateral trust.

To a question by reporter of the Associated Press of Pakistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said: “The joint military exercise held by India and the US near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the border area violated the spirit of relevant agreements signed by China and India in 1993 and 1996, and does not help build bilateral trust. China has expressed concerns to the Indian side over the military exercise”.

China’s comments that are akin to interfering in India-US bilateral relations came after India and the US held the 18th edition of the joint military training exercise, ‘Yudh Abhyas’ in Auli, Uttarakhand, just 100-km from the LAC. The 15-day military exercises focus on high altitude, cold climate warfare.

Yudh Abhyas is conducted annually between India and USA with the aim of exchanging best practices, tactics, techniques and procedures between the two armed forces. The previous edition of the exercise was conducted at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska (USA) in October 2021.

India and the US have strong bilateral relations in defence. The two have been regularly holding bilateral military exercises as well as with those involving other countries. The two also are partners in the Quad grouping with Australia and Japan.

China’s unease over the India-US military exercise stems from India matching its coercive military build-up on the hostile mountainous territory in Ladakh, where it entered Indian territory in 2020. China’s transgression also led to a push-back by Indian troops resulting in numerous Indian and Chinese casualties. China has since then deployed additional troops, strengthened infrastructure and upgraded defence facilities along the Indian border.

Despite India’s push for resolving the border dispute through talks, China has shown reluctance to settled the boundary dispute and has instead doubled up efforts to reduce Indian influence in its own region.

Just last week, Beijing was trying to forge a partnership with Indian Ocean Forum countries in a bid to undercut India’s relations with South Asian nations as well as the wider community stretching from east Africa to the Pacific islands.

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