Ahead of the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui on Wednesday, 9 October, dismissed reports of China's concerns over India's ‘Him Vijay’ military exercises in Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as South Tibet, PTI reported.
“We have no worry at all because that is not true,” Luo said.
Luo also said that it was a “sensitive region” and refused to hear that reference, according to Hindustan Times.
Luo made the remarks at a special briefing held to announce Xi’s visit to India.
Modi and Xi Jinping are set to hold talks in Tamil Nadu’s Mahabalipuram between 11-13 October.
This is the second informal summit between Modi and Xi. The first one was held last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which enabled the two countries to normalise their relations on all fronts after the 73-day standoff between the two militaries at Doklam in 2017.
What is ‘Him Vijay’?
India has kicked off a major combat exercise ‘Him Vijay,’ to test its new integrated battle groups (IBGs) for mountain warfare in Arunachal Pradesh.
The Indian Army's newly raised 17 Corps is carrying out the mega exercise at a height of around 15,000 ft, which is around 100 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de-facto border between India and China, according to PTI.
Three battle groups, each comprising 4,000 soldiers, are participating in the exercise. The operation will culminate on 25 October.
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, according to PTI.
Earlier, there were reports that China was irked about the defence drill. Luo who was in Delhi last week to oversee Xi’s visit, was reported to have raised the issue during his meeting with Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.
However, defence sources said that the military exercise has nothing to do with Xi’s upcoming visit to India.
(With inputs from PTI and Hindustan Times.)