India resumes joint air exercise with U.S., eyeing China

  • India has restarted a joint air exercise with the U.S. last held in 2019, likely aiming to send neighboring China a message as tensions over their border smolder.
  • The bilateral Cope India exercise is taking place in the states of West Bengal in eastern India and Uttar Pradesh in the north, the Indian Air Force said this week. The event, which dates to 2004, includes exchanges between specialists on both sides along with air drills.
  • The first phase began 10 Apr, involving transport aircraft and special forces troops from both sides.
  • Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force is taking part as an observer.
  • The return of the exercise after a four-year hiatus comes as Indian and Chinese troops continue to clash in disputed areas along their border. New Delhi expects more conflict in the future as China builds up its military infrastructure in the region.

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