International Current Affairs - 2020

Shaheen VIII: Pakistan-China aerial exercise held in China’s Hotan City

Pakistan and China are conducting joint bilateral aerial exercise Shaheen VIII (Eagle VIII) in Chinese city of Holton, close to the Indian border near Ladakh. It was eight edition of this aerial exercise, which is conducted annually by India’s two neighbours since 2011.

About Shaheen VIII

The air to air war games as part of this exercise are aimed to develop mechanism for interoperability of both countries’ air forces. It is touted as means to enhance close relations between the all-weather allies. In this edition of exercise, Pakistan is participating with its JF-17 fighter aircraft while China is taking part with their J-10 and J-11 fighters.

2019 Indo Pacific Chiefs of Defence Conference to be held in Thailand

The 2019 Indo Pacific Chiefs of Defence (CHOD) Conference will be held in Thailand’s capital city Bangkok. In this conference, India will be represented by Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) and Chief of the Air Staff- Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa.

2019 CHOD Conference

Theme for conference: “Collaboration in a free and Open Indo – Pacific”.

It will see participation of Chiefs of Defence of more than 33 countries.

It will provide perspectives on common challenges faced by attending nations and elicit open discussions on the same.

Significance for India: The participation of Indian Chairman COSC will provide further impetus towards increasing defence cooperation with Thailand. It will also pave way for greater interaction and cooperation in future.

India-Thailand defence relations

It has gained momentum consequent to India’s Look/ Act East Policy along with overall improvement in relations at political, economic and cultural levels. Military Cooperation has been nominated by Joint Working Group on Security Cooperation both countries (initiated in May 2003). It has been one of the seven primary areas of focus to strengthen cooperation between countries.  This was re-enforced in joint statement issued during Thai Prime Minister’s official visit to India in January 2012. Both countries also have commemorated 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations in 2017. Such cooperation and visits will contribute towards India being natural partner of Thailand for regional collaborative security initiatives.