Nepal, China kick-off first ever joint army drill

Kathmandu [Nepal], Apr 16 (ANI): The first ever Nepal-China joint military drill 'Sagarmatha Friendship-2017' began today at Nepal Army's Para Training School in Maharajgunj.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army's squad arrived in the capital to participate in the 10-day military exercise that will focus on counter terrorism and disaster response, reports the Kathmandu Post.

The joint training with China marks Nepal's extension of military diplomacy. Kathmandu has long been conducting joint military drills with India and the U.S.

According to Nepal Army (NA) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Jhankar Bahadur Kadayat, a small Chinese troop will be participating in the first ever drill with an equal number of NA personnel.

He, however, did not give the exact number of the troops.

The NA has said the joint military exercise with China is a step towards preparations against the possible threat from terrorism.

Engagement of defence forces from the two countries has lately increased as on February 19, Major General Zhao Jinsong of the western command of the People's Liberation Army of China was in Nepal on a three-day visit.

That was followed by a visit by Defence Minister and State Councillor Chang Wanquan in the third week of March. Chang had announced 300 million Yuan (Rs4.5 billion) in military aid to the NA during his visit. (ANI)