China has stepped up its assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region by kicking off military exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and the West Pacific. The drills involved advanced warships, helicopters and “special warfare” soldiers.
Kicking off an annual combat drill in the region, three naval ships of China’s Nanhai Fleet—missile destroyer Hefei, missile frigate Sanya, and supply ship Honghu—left a naval port in Sanya, Hainan Province on May 4.
The ships will later be joined by missile destroyers Lanzhou and Guangzhou, as well as missile frigate Yulin. Currently, the missile destroyers are carrying out other duties. There are helicopters and dozens of “special warfare” soldiers. The fleet will be separated into three groups to conduct varied drills.
China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) said that the main aim of the drill is to enhance combat readiness and practice coordination between ships and aircraft, and other forces. China, which claims most of the South China Sea, a major shipping lane rich in natural resources, has long-standing territorial disputes with several other Asian countries like Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.
Challenging India’s position
Increasing its presence in the Indian Ocean and intending to set up naval bases in the region, China has been challenging India’s dominance in a region considered to be New Delhi’s backyard. To counter China’s forays into the region, India has begun joint strategic cooperation with the US. During US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter’s recent visit to India, the two countries discussed the prospects of sharing military bases and are in the final stages of sealing a logistics pact.
- India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs. The Global Insights India (TGII) is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to email@example.com
- Diplomacy2022.11.27India’s G20 presidency to focus on global good: PM Modi
- Diplomacy2022.11.16Modi’s green diplomacy in Bali: India joins Mangrove Alliance for Climate
- Diplomacy2022.11.15India calls for Ukraine dialogue, focus on energy security
- India and the World2022.11.11Russia-Ukraine War: India’s Global Balancing Act