A file photo.
BEIJING (PTI): China on Monday said its first-ever joint military exercises with the Nepalese army is aimed at addressing terrorism threats and restoring peace and stability in the region.
"China and Nepal are two good neighbours. Practical cooperation between the two sides, especially cooperation which can promote development of both sides and maintain peace and stability in the region, is a good thing," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.
The 10-day military drill "Sagarmatha Friendship 2017" that will last till April 25 is being organised by the two countries as part of their preparedness against terrorism that has posed as a serious security threat globally, the Nepalese Army had said yesterday.
Sagarmatha is the Nepali name of Mt Everest, the world's highest peak.
When asked about the significance of the current round of military exercises between the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and the Nepalese army, which also raised concerns in India, Lu said, "Actually, there are other examples of cooperation between neighbours of this kind.
"Both sides agreed to a joint drill and the aim of this drill is to fight terrorism. This is the part of the annual joint exercise between China and Nepal. It will help to address the issue of terrorism in the region and also help to preserve peace and stability in region," Lu said.
The joint training with China marks Nepalese Army's extension of military diplomacy. The Nepalese Army has long been conducting joint military drills with Indian and the US Army.
The Nepalese Army has said the joint military exercise with China is a step towards preparations against the possible threat from terrorism.
It maintains that the drill is a part of its regular bilateral and multilateral military exercises aimed at sharing experiences, skills and professional knowledge which it has been doing regularly with the nations that Nepal shares diplomatic ties.