International

Not worried about Malabar drills: Beijing

While the Indian Army was conducting joint counter-terror drills in Kunming with the Chinese, in the Bay of Bengal the navies of U.S. and India and the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force began interactions in the run up to Exercise Malabar 2015. Ten ships — four of U.S., five from India and one from Japan — are participating in the exercise that is being closely watched by China.

 Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying reacted sharply when asked about the exercise on Monday: “You mentioned India is having naval exercises with U.S. and Japan and you ask whether China is concerned. I think you are thinking too much…Everyday a lot of activities take place around the world. We cannot connect every activity with China.”

“We are not that fragile and we are having sound relationship with both India and the U.S. We hope that relevant activities will contribute to the regional stability they will contribute more positive energy for that,” she added.

The motley army exercise between India and China pales in front of the scale and size of the naval drills involving the three countries, where the U.S. is fielding a massive aircraft carrier with 90 fighters, a nuclear submarine, and two other warships and a P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft. The Indian side is fielding a Rajput class destroyer, two other ships, a conventional submarine and a P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft. Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force is deploying an Akizuki-class guided missile destroyer.

 The exercise will begin on October 16 in full swing after the ships are in the high seas, and will go on for four days.  Last time, in 2007, when Malabar exercises featured more than just India and U.S., China raised objections.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 2:36:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/not-worried-about-malabar-drills-beijing/article7754163.ece

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