Published On: Wed, Jul 12th, 2017

India, U.S. and Japan Begin War Games, and China Hears a Message

NEW DELHI — The navies of IndiaJapan and the United States began a set of war games on Monday with a particular target: submarines capable of sliding unannounced into the deep waters of the Indian Ocean, silently taking positions near the Indian coastline.

http://india24x7news.com/

It is not a mystery whose submarines are at issue. Last month, the Indian Navy announced a plan to permanently station warships to monitor movement through the Strait of Malacca, where many Chinese vessels enter from the South China Sea. And in recent weeks, navy officials here have reported a “surge” of Chinese military vessels entering the Indian Ocean.

Routine maritime exercises have long served as a gauge of India’s uneasy relationship with China, prompting a shrug or a blast of condemnation, depending on the circumstances.

The annual series of naval exercises, known as the Malabar series, began in 1992. This year’s event was the largest to date, and the first to feature carriers from all three navies. The games are unfolding under tense circumstances, nearly a month into an aggressive standoff between Chinese and Indian border forces in the Himalayas.

On Sunday, the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi took the unusual step of warning its citizens to be especially cautious traveling in India for the next month.

Against that backdrop, the influx of Chinese warships into the Indian Ocean is another indicator of Beijing’s displeasure, said retired Adm. Anup Singh, who has overseen the exercises in the past.

“They are deliberately upping the ante in order to flag their posture to people who are concerned,” Admiral Singh said. “The Indians, the Japanese and the Americans. So they deliberately do it as a pinprick.”

Though India’s Navy is dwarfed by China’s, India holds a strategic advantage in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, which stretches 470 miles to the northwest of the Strait of Malacca, a “choke point” connecting the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.

This position, which could be used to put pressure on Chinese supply lines, is an increasing focus of cooperation between India, the United States and Japan. Monday’s China Daily, an English-language government newspaper, referred apprehensively to the maritime exercises in an editorial, noting that the Indian Ocean is one of China’s main conduits for trade and oil imports.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>