India-US-Japan Begin Massive Naval Exercise to Counter China  

China has grown rapidly militarily in the last two decades. It is regarded as the world’s third most superior military power after the US and Russia. But China has used both its economic and military might to illegally expand its presence in the South China Sea resulting in border disputes with many nations.

The Malabar Exercise has been going on for decades between India and the US. Japan joined the exercise in 2015. The significance of this exercise is rising as China bares its expansionistic teeth a bit more with every passing year.

Malabar Exercise for this year began yesterday. The 10-day exercise in the Bay of Bengal include warships from Japan, the US and India. India has deployed its largest-ever fleet this year.

A great decision was to leave out Australia from the exercise as Australia is heavily influenced by the Chinese both politically and economically. Apparently, China is rattled with the exercise. It said that it hopes the naval exercises aren’t aimed at ‘a third nation’.

“We hope that this kind of relationship and cooperation will not be directed against third country and that it will be conducive to the regional peace and security,” said a spokesperson for the Chinese government. The exercises are held in the Indian Ocean as well as close to the disputed South China Sea, which Beijing claims as its own.

Dozens of warships, submarines and aircraft will take part in the drills. The motive of this exercise is to get the three navies used to working together including for possible joint patrols across the Indian Ocean and the Pacific.

The exercise is happening at a very crucial juncture when Indian and Chinese soldiers are involved in a confrontation. China is blaming Indian troops for entering its territory while it was China who was involved in illegal construction of road.

China’s rise is not peaceful by any stretch of imagination. It’s expansionist actions are a danger for world peace not because it is attaining superpower status, but because it is supporting rogue nations like North Korea and Pakistan to fulfil its geopolitical ambitions. In such a situation, it is imperative for powers like India, the US and Japan to come together and deepen ties.

Vinayak Jain