India, U.S., Japan to hold naval drills close to China’s waters

Bloomberg, Reuters

The U.S., India and Japan will hold joint naval exercises later this year in waters north of the Philippines, a move that is likely to irk nearby China as tensions rise over competing territorial claims in the region.

Adm. Harry Harris, head of U.S. Pacific Command, confirmed the location of the annual Malabar drills during a security conference in New Delhi on Wednesday. The proposed area lies just northeast of the South China Sea, where the U.S. has spearheaded efforts to patrol waters near to where China is building airstrips, lighthouses and ports to assert its claims.

“By being ambitious, India, Japan, Australia, the United States and so many other like-minded nations can aspire to patrol together anywhere international law allows,” Harris said. No nation should perceive the patrols as a threat, he added.

China objected after an announcement in December that Japan would join the U.S. and India as a permanent member of Malabar this year. “Relevant countries should not provoke confrontation and create tension in the region,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

“We all have a vested interest in ensuring our region remains secure, stable, and prosperous,” Harris said, citing $5.3 trillion in trade that passes through the Indian Ocean and South China Sea each year.

“How Indo-Asia-Pacific nations employ naval forces to support these economic interests matters greatly.”

Last year, India, Japan and Australia also held the first round of a trilateral dialogue to discuss maritime security and freedom of navigation. Harris said it would be beneficial for the U.S. to join that group.

“Adding the U.S. into this dialogue can amplify the message that we are united behind the international rules-based order that has kept the peace and is essential to all of us,” Harris said.

Tensions in the South China Sea have risen recently, with the United States and others protesting against Beijing’s land reclamation project, along with the deployment of surface-to-air missiles and fighter jets in the Paracel Islands.

Along with China and the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims over the waters.

  • Testerty

    Somebody better inform the Indian navy that the Americans have ordered them to join South China Sea patrol, especially when the Indians have declared they are not interested….

    • Vectra

      Yes Indians have declared they are not interested but they didn’t denied it as well.They will enter SCS if Beijing crosses the red line.Any move by Beijing to send nuclear submarine and warships to IOR will change Delhi’s stand and may force India to send its own nuclear armed SSBN and warships to SCS in future.So it all depends on Beijing’s action and Delhi will react as per situation demands.

      • Testerty

        Hmmm…. you are suggesting it is time for a join naval exercise of Pakistani and Chinese navies since the Indian Ocean does not belong to India, eh?

      • Vectra

        Well that’s not something new,China and pakistan cooperation is there since 30-40 years and India has been facing it,so any naval drill between them now will not change the dynamics as let alone Indian Navy but India’s Coast Guard alone is 7 times bigger than Pakistan’s Navy.Btw both Pakistan and China are inexperiencedin naval warfare unlike India,US and Japan.Pakistan to some extent but China nil.
        Then again India never tried to rubber stand its name in Indian Ocean despite the Ocean being named on its name due to India’s divergent and shared relationship with Ocean since thousands of years.But China is unwelcome due to its greed for more and more territory despite having so much big territory as main land China.

    • Satya Jhon

      India is 1/30 of US Navy.

      2.US wants Ind-Chi fight …. India knew it so it stay away from it.Then final out come US-Chi fight is inevitable.

  • Testerty

    Somebody better inform the Indian navy that the Americans have ordered them to join South China Sea patrol, especially when the Indians have declared they are not interested….

  • sanch

    I am from India. I think the US is forcing India . India has no intention of playing with china

    • Kanishk Dhanker

      Don,t Forget Tibet Has To Be Free Sooner Or Later .

  • lushnya

    China recently made big scandal by pushing Russia into deciding of opening the museum of Mao Zedong, which making Putin looking silly in front of his generals and security bloc. Because such museum is very extremist and against the law in Russia.
    As we know the Mao is not history, it is very modern in bad way. Maoists recognized as terrorists in many countries. In India maoists officially proclaimed by prime-minister in 2006 as “main national threat of security”.
    The program of maoists in India (quote from wikipedia) is to “overthrown the government of India and making civil war”. By numerous sources maoists have near 10k armed soldiers in India.
    The museum of Mao and even thoughts of maoists in Russia is the awful news for local authorities, so chinese requests i think will be declined.
    This museum is also very rude thing from China, because they openly wants to falsify history on foreign territory – i don’t remember such rude attempts from all the years between international affairs anywhere. Local journalists find out that Mao never visited place where chinese wants to open his museum. This place is really associated with first meeting of communistic party of China foreign (under Stalin’s help), but Mao like made head of party only 2-3 years later and he never visited this place. But chinese side requesting to make museum only about Mao and nothing else – directly declining the Putin’s edict from this new year about “falsifying history is impossible and cannot be do in any way”.
    Also chinese Mao museum violate numerous russian laws, even becoming criminal. By the main law the state museum cannot have any political agitation or propaganda – but this is the main exhibit material which chinese side wants to be there (there is no any real history objects because whole museum is fake).
    China massively falsifying history locally, like they do with gigantic newly made “Shangri-la” village, which is 100% fake for tourists made recently, even construction of fake objects and houses is not over yet there. But that they starting to request falsifying history on foreign territory – this is very very new shocking thing.

  • China Lee

    Five reasons that China is protecting its 2,000-year-old South China Sea territory.

    1. China’s J-20 stealth fighter has entered mass production. With a combat radius of 1,200 miles, China’s J-20 has air superiority over the South China Sea airspace.

    2. China’s Type 093G nuclear submarines with Mach 3 terminal-phase YJ-18 maneuverable warhead ASCMs have also entered mass production.

    3. China’s JY-26 circularly-polarized anti-stealth radar has been deployed. Furthermore, China has L-band, UHF, and VHF anti-stealth radars.

    4. China has operational Beidou GPS satellite coverage of the South China Sea. This allows China to launch pinpoint attacks with its precision weaponry.

    5. China’s economy is $12.3 trillion for 2016. If China used the current SNA 2008 accounting standard, China’s economy is actually $13.3 trillion for 2016. China’s economy is strong enough to sustain a war for decades.

    • jg5821

      Yes, we already know you are a warmonger.