Indian and Chinese soldiers looked to have hit it off in their first joint exercises since a dangerous standoff last year, with videos released by the Indian military showing them dancing and playing football.
Troops from both sides came eyeball-to-eyeball in the disputed Doklam plateau in the Himalayas in June 2017 when Chinese soldiers started building a road and India sent its forces to halt the process.
The face-off between the nuclear-armed Asian nations, who fought a war in 1962 and in recent decades have been jostling for influence in the Indian Ocean, lasted two months until both sides pulled back.
India and China put their annual joint military drills on ice last year because of the Doklam standoff, but they resumed on Tuesday in southwest China for exercises called “Hand in Hand” and set to last until December 23.
A video released by the Indian army on Twitter shows the soldiers chanting, linking arms and dancing, while a second shows a football match in which both teams “showcased excellent sportsmanship”. The winner was not revealed.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have moved to patch up ties between the world’s two most populous nations, home to around 40 percent of the planet’s people.
This is despite the United States, alarmed at China’s growing military, economic and diplomatic assertiveness in the South China Sea and beyond, putting new emphasis on US military ties to New Delhi.