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Nepal to hold military exercise with China

In this August 16, 2016 photo, Nepal Premier’s special envoy Krishna Bahadur Mahara shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as he arrives for a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on in Beijing.

In this August 16, 2016 photo, Nepal Premier’s special envoy Krishna Bahadur Mahara shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as he arrives for a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on in Beijing.  

Beginning a new level of bilateral military engagement, Nepal will hold its first ever joint military exercise with China on February 10, senior military officials have told Nepali media.

The focus of the military exercise, named Pratikar-1, will be on training Nepali forces in dealing with hostage scenarios involving international terror groups.

Nepal’s Chief of Army Staff General Rajendra Chhetri visited Beijing in March when both sides had resolved to strengthen military ties. Nepal has conducted exercises with India earlier.

Unconventional move

Analysts say that though the military drill with China does not violate the 1950 India-Nepal treaty of peace and friendship, it does appear unconventional.

“Nepal can conduct military exercises with other countries without violating the agreement with India, but the upcoming exercise with China is certainly unconventional and alarming as China’s definition of terrorism covers Tibetan agitators,” said Prof. S.D. Muni, a distinguished fellow at New Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. He believes that China is planning the military move to targeting the Tibetans.

Reports suggested that the exercise will firm up Kathmandu’s preparedness to deal with hostage situations like the one that caused large number of deaths in Dhaka’s Holey Artisan bakery in July.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 10:42:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Nepal-to-hold-military-exercise-with-China/article16921307.ece

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