China’s PLA lauds joint yoga session with Indian troops as ‘special event’

The Chinese military on Thursday hailed the joint yoga session of its troops with their Indian counterparts on the International Day of Yoga (IDY) as a “special event” in border cooperation between the two neighbours.

The Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army had celebrated the fourth IYD amid sub-zero temperature in eastern Ladakh on June 21. The event was organised at an altitude of 16,942 ft at Daulat Beg Oldie-Tien Wein Dien meeting point across the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

“Speaking of the border cooperation, I want to mention special event between the two defence forces,” Chinese Defence spokesman Colonel Wu Qian said in his first comment on the joint yoga session.

“On June 21, soldiers from both sides of the borders had a special meeting and practised yoga together. Because of the June 21 International Yoga Day,” he said.

Colonel Wu was responding to a question on the improvement of military relations between the two countries since the Wuhan summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in April.

He said that during the session, the Chinese soldiers had also demonstrated their martial arts skills to the Indian soldiers.

“I fully expect more extensive friendly competition between the two sides to build mutual trust so that we can maintain stability along the borders and to fully implement the agreement reached by the national leaders of both the countries,” he said.

During the yoga session, a talk was also delivered on the importance of yoga for health, well-being and inner balance at high altitude.

“Apart from giving impetus to physical fitness, the event was aimed at further cementing the bonds of friendship and mutual trust between both the nations following the motto of the fourth International Yoga Day,” an Indian defence spokesman had said.

On June 21, Indian envoy to China Gautam Bambawale along with other diplomats, staff of the Embassy, yoga teachers and students of a yoga centre had participated in a colourful yoga event in Beijing.

The day was celebrated in 25 to 30 cities in different parts of China with larger turnouts, indicating the increasing popularity of yoga in China.

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