Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai, Chinese troops sing India’’s national anthem

December 6th, 2008 - 5:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Shah Rukh Khan

Belgaum (Karnataka), Dec 6 (ANI): The spirit of “Hindi-Chini Bhai-Bhai” was rekindled here when the 137-member Chinese Army contingent in India for a joint anti-terror exercise stunned their Indian counterparts when they sang with great respect and honour India’’s national anthem.
Around 90 soldiers of the 1st company of the infantry battalion of the Chengdu Military Area Command stood in line and sang “Jana Gana Mana” in unison, surprising Indian Army personnel during the official banquet hosted here at Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre here on Friday.
The Chinese had practiced the Indian national anthem “Jana Gana Mana” for a month before coming to India.
“It is a tradition of our country that we express our gratitude and regard to the other country by singing their national anthem,” said Huang Xue Ping, a senior colonel (equivalent to a Brigadier of the Indian army) of the Chinese Army.
The Chinese contingent had yet another surprise for the Indians when they sang the hit Bollywood song from Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Mohabbatein”. The Indian soldiers too joined them in singing “Aankhe Khuli Ho Ya Ho Band”.
The Indians were not far behind and they too had a few surprises for the People’’s Liberation Army. Lt. Colonel S.K. Tiwari sang a Chinese song amid much applause and the PLA soldiers asked for more songs.
The Chinese Army contingent were moved by the hospitality shown and the services made available to them since their arrival in India.
The Chinese Army is here for a joint military combat exercise on Indian soil to counter terror and insurgency. This for the first time that Chinese Army is on Indian soil for an exercise.
The Chinese were treated to an Indian dinner comprising of poori, aloo gobi, raita, mutton and chicken curry, palak paneer and rice, which they enjoyed fully.
The joint counter-terror exercise will take place from December 6 to 14. Called the Exercise Hand-in-Hand 2008, the event between the third largest army in the world and the largest army of the world is a continuation of ongoing Army-to-Army cooperation, as part of the Annual Defence Dialogue (ADD) initiated between India and China in 2006.
The current joint army training and exercise in a sense suggests that military cooperation between both countries is growing. Earlier, India and China had held the first joint naval exercise in November 2003 off Shanghai on China’’s eastern seaboard. Subsequently, two ships of the Indian Navy also made port calls at Qingdao and participated in a joint exercise with the PLA Navy earlier in 2007.
During the course of the joint training, Chinese troops from the 1st Company of the Infantry Battalion of the Chengdu Military Area Command and Indian Army troops from 8 Maratha Light Infantry Battalion, will undertake joint tactical maneuvers and drills; interoperability training and joint command post procedures. The exercise will finally culminate in a joint counter-terrorist operational exercise with the enemy in simulated conditions.
Last year, Indian soldiers had participated in a joint exercise with the Chinese military in Kunming city, following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between India and China in May 2006 during a visit by the then defence minister (and current external affairs minister) Pranab Mukherjee. (ANI)

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