As the first “quad” meeting at the foreign minister-level took place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, warships and aircraft from three countries are gathering over 7,100 miles in the Western Pacific. High-voltage wargames that often trouble China.
The 23rd edition of the top-notch “Malabar” ninth practice between India, the US and Japan crashed out of Sasebo in Japan on Wednesday, with Australia being the only “quad” member not involved in the 10-day war game.
Sources in the Indian defense establishment say India has severed military ties with Australia, which led the two countries to “inter-operate” off the Visakhapatnam coast in April this year with their biggest naval exercise called “Ausindex” Conducted.
“So, Willy-Neely, already has a military dimension to the Quad, a group of like-minded democracies protesting for an independent, open and rules-based order in the Indian Ocean region, the South China Sea, or elsewhere Are. As an aggressive China in the Indo-Pacific, “a source said.
India has been against any militarization of the Quad, much to the extent that it was opposed to upgrading it to a ministerial-level dialogue so that there would be no opposition to China as needed. For example, in 2007, Beijing objected to the Malabar practice in the Bay of Bengal as it was expanded to include Japan, Australia, and Singapore as well. While Japan has now become a regular partner in Malabar, India has not yet agreed to include Australia.
For the latest Malabar, India has sent it a 6,100-tonne stealth frigate INS Sahyadri, anti-submarine warfare INS Kiltan and Poseidon-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft.
Malabar, incidentally, comes soon after India held its first tri-lateral naval exercise with Singapore and Thailand in the Andaman Sea earlier this month. “The objective is to ensure uninterrupted shipping through the Malacca Strait. Other regional navies may also join the exercise from next year.
With a firm eye on China, India has progressively advanced its military ties with ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. As for the controversial South China Sea, where China has shown expansionary behavior, India emphasized the need for all to respect freedom of navigation, passage, and overflight in international waters by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is.