The navies of India, the United States, Australia and Japan held naval exercises this Tuesday in the north of the Oman Sea, in the second phase of an operation considered part of a regional initiative to counter China’s growing presence in the Indo-Pacific.
The Malabar operation “Highlights the growing convergence of views among the four vigorous democracies on maritime affairs”, the Indian Defense Ministry said.
It is the second time that the four countries —Members of an informal group known as Quad— they are participating in a joint naval operation of this magnitude. The first phase of Malabar took place on November 3-6 in the Bay of Bengal.
Australia participates in the maneuvers, which began in 1992 as a bilateral activity between Washington and Delhi, after more than a decade and after suffering Beijing diplomatic harassment after calling for an independent investigation into the coronavirus outbreak. Japan joined in 2015.
For its part, Beijing had in the past described the Malabar operation as exercises of a “Anti-Chinese coalition”.
This phase of the exercises consists of operations focused on the Indian aircraft carrier battle group Vikramaditya and the american Nimitz.
The Australian frigate also participates Ballarat, the Japanese destroyer Murasame, submarines and airplanes.
India is at odds with China in a disputed sector of the common border, and hopes the operation will serve as a deterrent to Beijing. according to analysts.
Although all Closer states are nervous about the increasingly notorious military presence in the Pacific, both in the Gulf of Oman area and in the South Sea. China occupies sandbars and reefs, builds bases at the speed of light, and claims sovereignty over the waters around it. An original strategy that in the future would allow it to feed the voracity it maintains in maritime resources.
The incursions of the People’s Liberation Army (EPL) in the Pacific are an example of the expansionary process of Xi Jinping, accelerated in the first half of 2020, taking advantage of the distraction generated by the pandemic by COVID-19 in most governments.
Countries deepen their alliances
In this context, the agreement they reached this Tuesday is framed Japan Y Australia for establish a legal framework that allows troops from both countries visit their territories and participate in training and joint operations.
Also, at the end of October India and the United States raised their military alliance with the signing of an agreement for the exchange of data by satellite that will allow New Delhi to obtain greater precision for the handling of its missiles or drones.
(With information from AP and own)