China and Nepal began their first-ever joint military exercises on Sunday, a move likely to rattle India as Beijing boosts its influence in the region.
Impoverished Nepal is sandwiched between China and India and has in recent years ping-ponged between the sphere of influence of Delhi and Beijing as the Asian giants jostle for regional supremacy.
The 10-day drill in Kathmandu, dubbed "Sagarmatha Friendship 2017" referring to the Nepali name for Mount Everest, will focus on counter-terrorism, according to Nepal's army.
"This is in line with our efforts to hold joint exercises with countries that have diplomatic relations with Nepal," military spokesman Jhankar Bahadur Kadayat told AFP.
The drills will likely be watched closely by India, which is often accused of playing "big brother" to its tiny neighbour.
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