The first such event in Ladakh comes almost a year after Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 74-day long standoff in the Doklam plateau. Even the region where the joint yoga session was held has witnessed tensions between the two sides.
The Indian Army during a Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) with their Chinese counterparts held last month had proposed to do yoga together. “The PLA appreciated the offer, calling it a genuine peaceful gesture. They confirmed in writing last night,” said the army.
On Thursday, Indian Army personnel deployed in Eastern Ladakh celebrated the Fourth International Yoga Day at Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO)- Tien Wein Dien meeting point with People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops.
About 21 PLA troops participated at the the DBO BPM hut. “We also had a similar representation. Some gifts were exchanged and PLA soldiers made a martial arts demonstration. A PLA soldier even played a guitar,” said an army officer.
“The joint yoga session was organised between the soldiers of both nations on the longest day of the year, in the sub zero temperatures, thereby displaying the undeterred courage and motivation of the soldiers,” said the army.
A talk on the importance of yoga for health at high altitude areas was also given. The event also aimed at further “cementing the bonds of friendship and mutual trust between both the nations”.
The joint yoga session is meant to indicate that the situation along the 4,057 km long Line of Actual Control is normal. This comes after the Doklam standoff.
In mid June last year, Indian personnel based at Doka La in Sikkim had stopped a Chinese construction party from building a road in the Doklam area. The Chinese were trying to disrupt the status quo by constructing a road towards the Jampheri Ridge, which overlooks the strategic Siliguri Corridor. This marked the beginning of the standoff.
Even DBO had witnessed a long standoff between troops of both sides in April 2013. Later, in August last year, there was stone pelting between troops of both sides after Indian soldiers had stopped Chinese soldiers from entering Indian territory along the banks of the Pangong Lake in Ladakh.Indian, Chinese soldiers do yoga together in Ladakh