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‘Arunachal exercise of new Army mountain strike corps not linked to Xi Jinping India trip’

There have been reports that China has objected to the exercise ahead of Xi's visit to India next week for a second informal summit with PM Modi.

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New Delhi: The Indian military exercise Him-Vijay in Arunachal Pradesh has nothing to do with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to India, defence sources said on Saturday.

The Indian Army’s newly raised 17 Corps is carrying out the mega exercise at a height of around 15,000 ft in Arunachal Pradesh.

There have been reports that China has raised objection to India on the exercise ahead of Xi’s visit to India to hold second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The sources said the exercise is taking place around 100 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border between the two countries, and that it was scheduled much in advance.

They said the formations undertake such exercise for familiarisation and acclimatisation during the months preceding winters and post-winters.

Such exercise are held by all formations of Eastern Command.

Operation Him-Vijay will culminate on October 25.

The sources said as the 17 Corps is new, its troops conduct familiarisation and orientation drills in depth areas which are generally at high altitude as a matter of routine.

China claims the north-eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet. India has maintained Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and inalienable part of the country. The two countries have held over 20 rounds of talks to resolve the border dispute.

Xi is expected to visit India next week to hold the second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Dates for his visit are yet to be announced.

In their first informal summit, Modi and Xi had decided to issue “strategic guidance” to their militaries to strengthen communication and build trust and understanding between the border guarding forces of the two countries.

The summit had taken place months after Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam.

Also read: China says it never provoked war in the past 70 years, skips mention of 1962


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