Beijing: China expressed hope that the resumption of military exercises between the Indian and Chinese armies that will begin on Tuesday would inject impetus and yield good results for the improvement of bilateral ties.
An Indian military team headed by Col Puneet Tomar has arrived in China’s southwestern Chengdu city to take part in the ‘Hand-in-Hand’ military drills between the two armies starting there from Tuesday, the Indian Embassy here said.
Officials earlier said both sides would field 100 personnel to take part in the seventh edition of the exercises. The inaugural ceremony would be held on Tuesday and the drills would be concluded on December 23.
The drills are being held after a gap of one year as they could not be held last year because both armies were locked in a 73-day standoff at Doklam in the Sikkim sector.
Asked about how China viewed the exercises being resumed after Doklam, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said “we hope this can have a good results”.
He referred to the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at Wuhan in April this year and the “important consensus” reached between the two leaders to improve relations.
He noted that the two leaders had met four times this year.
The two countries should implement the consensus between the two leaders including the exchanges between the two militaries, Lu said.
“Under the guidance of the consensus between the two leaders and through the concerted efforts of the two sides, I hope the exchanges between the two militaries can achieve positive outcomes, injecting impetus to the bilateral ties,” he said.
The Chinese military earlier said the subject of the exercises will include adoptive and basic training, and live shooting.
“The drills will promote understanding between the two militaries and improving their capabilities in fighting terrorism,” Chinese defence ministry spokesman Col Ren Guoqiang had said last month.
“True to its name which is ‘Hand-in-Hand’, we believe China and India’s militaries should work hand-in-hand to bring benefits to our people,” he said.
After the Doklam standoff, the two militaries made efforts to improve relations following the Wuhan summit.
Besides resuming the defence dialogue after the standoff, the two countries also held the 21st round of border talks.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who are the Special Representatives for the border talks, held the discussions on November 24 in Chengdu during which they called for intensifying efforts to find a solution to the vexed border dispute.
The two sides also held the ninth defence dialogue on November 13 led by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Lt General Shao Yuanming, Deputy Chief of Joint Staff Department of Central Military Commission of China.
Sri Lanka bombings death toll rises to 359, 18 more suspects held overnight
Colombo: Police say the death toll in the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka has risen to 359 and more suspects have been arrested.
Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara also said Wednesday morning that 18 suspects were arrested overnight, raising the total detained to 58.
The prime minister warned that several suspects armed with explosives were still at large.
Another top government official said the suicide bombings at the churches, hotels and other sites were carried out by Islamic fundamentalists in apparent retaliation for the New Zealand mosque massacre last month.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka attacks and released images that purported to show the attackers. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that investigators were still determining the extent of the bombers’ foreign links.
UN says over 250 killed, over 1,200 injured in Libya battle
TRIPOLI: At least 264 people have been killed and over 1,200 wounded in weeks of fighting on the outskirts of Libya’s capital, the World Health Organisation said , as African leaders gathered in Cairo to discuss the crisis.
The agency called on Twitter for “a temporary cessation of hostilities, and for all parties to respect humanitarian law”.
Eastern-based strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on the capital on April 4, as his self-styled Libyan National Army pledged “to purge the west of terrorists and mercenaries”.
Forces loyal to the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli, launched a counter-attack at the weekend.
The fighting has since eased somewhat as both sides appeared to be preparing for the next phase of the battle.
Fighting in Tripoli’s southern suburbs has so far displaced at least 35,000 people, UN humanitarian coordinator for Libya Maria do Valle Ribeiro said on Monday.
“Displacement is continuing at an increasing rate every day,” she said, warning that the figures were a conservative estimate.
The two sides have reached a near stalemate since armed groups backing the GNA launched their counter-attack on Saturday.
An AFP team on the ground at the weekend confirmed that GNA-aligned fighters had pushed the frontline back several kilometres in the southern district of Ain-Zara, around a dozen kilometres south of the city centre.
Another frontline is a little further southwest, around the districts of al-Swani and Qasr ben-Ghachir, around 30 kilometres from Tripoli, on a key road between the capital and the old international airport.
Occasional bursts of gunfire — and heavier projectiles — have been audible, sometimes resonating in the city centre.
“It is calm on most fronts,” Mustafa al-Mejii, a spokesman for GNA forces, said.
“Orders were given to forces on the perimeter of Tripoli airport to consolidate their positions,” he said.
Haftar’s force said on its official Facebook page it had received “significant” reinforcements, particularly in the west.
Valle Ribeiro said civilians were being displaced every day, while some had been trapped by fire including “heavy artillery and… shelling in some densely populated parts of the city”.
“Any country that has leverage should be using that leverage to ensure that civilians can be protected,” she said.
African leaders were due to meet in Cairo at the behest of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss the violence.
Israel to name Golan settlement after Trump
JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he plans to name a new settlement in the occupied Golan after US President Donald Trump in appreciation of his recognition of Israel’s claim of sovereignty there.
Netanyahu, who has been on a trip to the region with his family for the week-long Passover holiday, said in a video message that he would present a resolution to the government calling for a new settlement named after the US president.
“All Israelis were deeply moved when President Trump made his historic decision to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” he said.
Trump again broke with longstanding international consensus on March 25 when he recognised Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The decision came only two weeks ahead of a tightly contested Israeli election, which saw Netanyahu win a fifth term in office.
Trump has shifted US policy sharply in Israel’s favour since taking office, most notably by recognising the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Israel annexed 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan it seized in 1981, a move never recognised by the international community.
Around 18,000 Syrians from the Druze sect — most of whom refuse to take Israeli citizenship — remain in the occupied Golan.
Some 20,000 Israeli settlers have moved there, spread over 33 settlements.
Govt directs hospitals to display rate list of tests, lab investigations
Srinagar, Apr 25: Government has issued a circular to all hospitals and health institutions directing them to display rate list...
Chowkidaar needs your votes to win fight against ‘terror’: PM Modi in Bihar
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hit out at the opposition over terrorism and national security, saying they deny these...
Kashmir NEET aspirants alloted four more centres
Srinagar: To accommodate all the 9,250 aspirants from the Kashmir Valley for this year’s National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)...
Mirwaiz, Bilal Lone visit Yasin Malik’s residence
Srinagar, Apr 25: Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Molvi Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Independent Movement chairman Bilal...
VIDEO|IT raids ex-J&K Minister’s properties in Srinagar
Srinagar: Income Tax (I-T) officials on Thursday carried out raids in Srinagar city at the properties of former Jammu and...
Why does ED felt to summon Sama Shabir again, Omar asks
Srinagar : The former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Thursday...
VIDEO | Two local militants killed in Bijbehara gunfight
Anantnag, April 25 : Two militants have been killed in an encounter that raged between government forces and militants in...