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India keen on joint exercise with China: IAF

November 10, 2009 19:52 IST

India is keen to conduct joint exercises with China, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said on Tuesday, amid growing tensions between the two neighbours over the visit of the Dalai Lama to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.

"We are keen to do joint exercise with China and also with other nations. We have already done so with the United States, United Kingdom, France and few other nations," Naik told reporters at Gwalior when asked whether India is ready to conduct a joint exercise with China.

When asked about reports of China opening up its closed airports situated close to the border, he merely said, "We have a long-term plan and we do things according to our needs."

Beijing has strongly objected to the Dalai Lama's visit and in recent days, it has stepped up rhetoric, claiming Tawang and whole of Arunachal as part of China.

On the issue of President Pratibha Patil's proposed sortie in the Sukhoi fighter plane, he said that it will help in motivating and preparing lady fighter pilots in the country.
 

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