Joint military drills between China and India will “surely promote bilateral collaboration”, said an opinion piece in state-run Global Times.
The opinion piece “Sino-Indian military drill unfairly targeted” said that the India-China Combined military training exercise “Hand-in-Hand 2015” kicked off on Monday in Kunming, Yunnan province.
“In order to match Chinese troops’ combat skills, officers and soldiers from elite Indian forces are drafted into the exercise. As always, Western public opinion is paying close attention to Sino-Indian military ties, as well as the impact of the Sino-Indian border disputes on Asian geopolitics,” wrote Wang Dehua, who is director of Institute for the Southern and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies.
Given a series of military confrontations between the two nations near the Line of Actual Control, “foreign media expressed surprise toward the joint drill, as if the time is not yet mature for Beijing and New Delhi to conduct such an exercise”, the article said.
Wang said that in his view, “a joint military exercise is a barometer of bilateral relationships”.
“As a new measure of establishing mutual trust, there is no point in making a fuss over the drill. Confrontations in recent years were not created on purpose, but happened by accident. Leaders from both China and India have consensus and enough means to take divergences under control,” Wang added.
Western media tend to view these issues with coloured glasses, and therefore often misread the accidental confrontations on the borders, the article noted.
The Global Times opinion piece went on to say according to Western commentaries, “despite the fact that no gunfire took place near the line of actual control over the past decades, India’s defence sector is still vigilant about the Chinese military’s rapid modernization. Moreover, the growing presence of Chinese nuclear submarines and conventional submarines in the Indian Ocean is intensifying New Delhi’s anxiety”.
It assured: “There is no need to be astonished over the joint drill, for the idea of peaceful coexistence has already been deeply rooted among people from both China and India.”
Wang wrote that both China and India have agreed to enhance their military cooperation, and to boost people-to-people exchanges. New Delhi has also suggested bilateral cooperation in anti-terrorism, combating smuggling by sea and anti-piracy operations.
“Joint military drills will surely promote bilateral collaboration.” The article said that all in all, the joint military exercise is praiseworthy.