Indian Air Force begins exercise along border with China and Pakistan ahead of G20 summit

India is hosting gathering of global leaders on September 9 and 10

An Indian Air Force Hercules military transport plane prepares to land at an airbase in Leh, the joint capital of the union territory of Ladakh bordering China, on September 8, 2020. China on September 8 said its troops were forced to take "countermeasures" after Indian soldiers crossed their tense Himalayan border and opened fire. The relationship between the two nuclear-armed neighbours has deteriorated since a clash in the Ladakh region on June 15 in which 20 Indian troops were killed. / AFP / Mohd Arhaan ARCHER
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The Indian Air Force on Monday began a 10-day exercise along its northern borders with China and Pakistan ahead of the G20 summit at the weekend.

The exercise, named Trishul, or trident in Hindi, will run until September 14 in the regions of Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and Punjab, media said.

The drills will include fighter aircraft, transport planes and helicopters.

India shares a nearly 4,000km undemarcated border with China that crosses the Himalayas from Ladakh in the north to eastern Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, known as the Line of Actual Control, or LAC.

It also shares a 3,300km border with Pakistan including the Line of Control through the disputed Kashmir region, northern state of Punjab, and western Rajasthan and Gujarat states.

The exercise coincides with New Delhi playing host to the G20 leaders on September 9 and 10.

The group, which comprises 19 countries and the EU, addresses major issues related to the global economy, financial stability, climate change mitigation and sustainable development.

New Delhi holds the presidency this year.

US President Joe Biden, his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend the summit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to skip the event, according to media reports.

The exercise comes after Mr Xi and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks on the sidelines of the Brics Summit in Johannesburg and agreed to “intensify efforts” to resolve border tensions.

The diplomatic ties between the nations were strained after clashes between their troops in the Himalayan Ladakh region in 2020 left 24 soldiers dead.

The nations held the 19th round of the India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side on August 13 and August 14.

Updated: September 04, 2023, 12:53 PM