By Sanjeev Miglani | Reuters
NEW DELHI, India, 3 November 2020
India, the United States, Japan and Australia began their largest joint naval exercises in over a decade on Tuesday, Indian government sources said, seen as part of efforts to balance China’s vast military and economic power in the region.
The annual “Malabar” wargames that India holds with the United States and Japan have been expanded to include Australia this year to cover all members of the Quad, an informal group of the four largest democracies in the Indo-Pacific.
China has accused the United States, which has been leading the effort to forge a common front among its allies, of a “Cold War mentality” and ideological prejudice.
Five ships of the Indian Navy, including a submarine, were deployed in the exercise along with US Navy’s John S McCain missile destroyer, Australia’s Ballarat frigate and a Japanese destroyer, the Indian ministry of defence said.
There will be no contact between the military personnel of the four nations because of COVID-19 restrictions during the first phase of the drills running till 6 November, it said.
Later this month, India and the United States will deploy aircraft carriers in the drills, a military source said.
“The exercise will showcase the high-levels of synergy and coordination between the friendly navies, which is based on their shared values and commitment to an open, inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order,” the defence ministry said in its statement.
The exercises comes at a time when the host, India, is locked in a military stand-off on the disputed land border with China.
Thousands of troops are in close proximity in the western Himalayas, where India says Chinese troops have intruded across its side of the de facto border. Beijing denies any intrusion and says India has been building roads and other infrastructure in the disputed area, causing the crisis.
Australia’s diplomatic relations with China also worsened this year after Canberra led calls for an international inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic and Beijing imposed trade sanctions on Australian beef and barley.
Separately, Japan is embroiled in a dispute with China over ownership of islands in the East China Sea.
The Quad is auspiciously augmented by another democratic nation, as Germany joins Quad in South China Sea. Could the Quad metamorphose into Quint? We’ll see.
The greatest threat to world peace today is Chinese expansionism and Islamic terrorism. Therefore, its a welcome development for the Indo-Pacific region that the four like minded democracies have assembled for the first time for military exercises in the Malabar coast.
It took a long time for these four nations to come together mainly because of India’s discomfort in angering China and its oft repeated policy of “strategic independence”. The brutal murder of 20 Indian Jawans at Galwan and encroaching eight miles of Indian territory from finger 4 to 8 woke up India to the nightmare of Chinese expansionist aggression.
Massive Chinese troop built up at Pangong Lake was reciprocated by India’s troop built up finally laid thread bare the uneasy truce between India and China.
India has at last learned that commie China is no friend of India and went overdrive for diplomatic muscle flexing by holding the 2+2 meetings with US Secretary of State Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper in Delhi. Prior to the US-India meeting, the foreign Ministers of the Quod met in Tokyo.
France and Germany have sent their war ships to the Indo-Pacific region and its likely either NATO itself will join the Quod or there will be an Asian NATO to deter Chinese expansionism and protect the international rules based order.
Communist China is now equated with Nazi Germany and rightly so. It’s a fascist totalitarian State which enslaves the 1.4 billion Chinese and the people’s of occupied nations like Tibet, East Turkistan and Southern Mongolia.
It claims that it’s military will be on par with the US by 2027 which could signal the Chinese challenge to US supremacy in the Asia pacific region. Therefore, it’s timely to form a formidable alliance of like minded nations to deter China.
You are a one trick pony. Communist China is bad bad bad. Ok. Got it. Now get out of South Tibet (so called AP) would you? Why would you want to join the company of bad China?