Breaking new grounds, India and China today launched their first-ever joint military exercise in this capital city of the southwestern Yunnan province, taking ties between the two armies to a new high.
The five-day exercise focusing, on anti-terrorism operations kick-started at the Kunming Military Academy here with ground forces of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) and India demonstrating their tactics and skills.
The two armies displayed weapons and equipment and test fired from each other's weapons in what was the high point of today's drills.
The ball for the exercise codenamed "Hand in Hand 2007" reflecting the warmer relations between the two armies, was set rolling after the opening ceremony which saw the national flags of both countries being raised to the national anthems played by the PLA band in the presence of senior military officials from the two countries.
Chinese and Indian soldiers were hawk-eyed as they closely watched the skills displayed by each other and responded with repeated rounds of applause admiring each other's combat fitness. A highlight of the day was the standing ovation given by the Red Army men to Indian soldiers for the "Malkambh" exercise performed on a pole.
The day got off to the start with Chinese soldiers displaying their skills in "Hard Qigong", a martial arts form, that put their robustness to the severest test, as the Indian troops watched it in awe and clapped in appreciation.
This was followed by Chinese troops clearing their way through explosions from bombs and hand grenades firing at short intervals and rocket launcher in an anti-terrorist drill.