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Malabar Exercise That Annoys China Is A Tectonic Shift In The Balance Of Power | Analysis – news from india


Warships from four major Indo-Pacific democracies – the United States, Japan, Australia and India – will maneuver together in the Malabar naval exercise off the coast of Goa on Tuesday, the second round of the QUAD countries’ war games during the last month that marks the evolution of the informal association ‘QUAD’ towards a potential strategic alliance.

India had invited Australia to this year’s war games for the first time in more than a decade, a move that has angered President Xi Jinping’s Communist Party of China government to such an extent that its spokesman, China Daily, rebuked the Australian government for “aggressively sending warships to China’s doorstep” as part of Exercise Malabar. India and Australia, however, stood their ground, a stark contrast to 2007, when several countries that had participated in the naval exercise finally met. they backed off from China’s protests.

But President Xi’s aggressive approach has united the member countries of the four-nation alliance. For years, he had been lobbying Japan over its claim to the Senkaku Islands, threatening Australia with a trade war, and discussing nuclear missiles with the US Navy, which made its presence felt in the South China Sea. China crossed the line with New Delhi this year when PLA soldiers attempted to seize control of Indian territory in Ladakh, setting up a standoff on the border that has lasted for more than six months in Ladakh and is expected to continue into next year. .

Beijing’s focus on Ladakh has convinced India that it needs to be prepared for a similar Chinese aggression on the high seas. People familiar with the matter said the government has already asked the Indian Navy to begin preparing to counter the PLA Navy and shift its orientation from diplomacy to deployment. The focus must be on the navy developing the capacity to deploy from the Gulf of Eden to the Straits of Malacca and beyond.

This year’s Malabar exercise, reflecting the deepening strategic ties within QUAD, is one step. That is why, a national security planner said, the presence of the USS Nimitz strike group and India’s INS Vikramaditya in the exercise reflects the determination of the four countries to draw red lines for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy.

“It’s a tectonic shift in the regional balance of power,” he said.

It was in this context that Australia’s Defense Minister Linda Reynolds recently described the naval maneuvers not only as a demonstration of the strategic trust that the four democracies had in each other, but also “strengthened our collective ability to contribute to security. regional”.

Australia’s participation in the Malabar war games is considered significant given its geopolitical role in the Indo-Pacific region. In addition, Canberra is an advanced nation of the NATO alliance and has a military collaboration with the United States and strategic security relations with Japan.

Officials said the four-nation alliance could be expected to expand to other countries in one way or another. On the one hand, France is showing great interest in the QUAD measure to secure sea lanes and freedom of navigation from the Gulf of Aden to the western coast of the US.

The barrage of comments from the many Chinese Communist Party spokespersons who have attacked New Delhi’s invitation to Australia reflects concern over joint military exercises.

“Despite the joint drill involving India, the US, Australia and Japan, experts pointed out that such an ill-intentioned attempt to corner China is an empty bluff, and China will not be interrupted by India’s irrationality. or US interference, “The Global Times, a tabloid run by the Communist Party’s chief spokesman China Daily, claimed. He has also reported on the possibility of Germany’s interest in getting involved in the Indo-Pacific region.

Hindustan Times