In a rebuke to China, India and three other countries conduct naval drills in South China Sea

Reuters

  • India took part in a round of naval drills with the US, Japan and the Philippines in the South China Sea - an important trade transit region.
  • The drills, which ended this week, comprise of an American guided missile destroyer, a Japanese aircraft warship, two Indian naval vessels - INS Kolkata and INS Shakti - along with a patrol vessel from the Philippines.
  • This is seen as a show of strength against China, whose expanding naval and military presence in the South China Sea over the last few years, has irked not only countries in the region but the US as well.
India has taken part in a round of naval drills with the US, Japan and the Philippines in the South China Sea - an important trade transit region.

The drills which ended this week, comprise of a guided missile destroyer operated by the US Navy, a Japanese aircraft warship, two Indian naval vessels - INS Kolkata and INS Shakti - along with a patrol vessel belonging to the Philippines.

The drills are seen as a show of strength against China, which has been expanding naval and military presence in the South China Sea over the last few years. This move has far-reaching ramifications, as it has irked countries in the region, along with the US.

In addition to conducting military exercises on artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, China has also engaged in a number of territorial disputes with countries like Vietnam and the Philippines owing to its claims on islands in the sea.

In response, the US Navy has been regularly patrolling the South China Sea as a deterrent to China, conducting what it refers to as “freedom of navigation” operations.

They also come amid the continued deterioration of trade talks between the US and China.

Earlier this week, the Trump administration threatened to hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports - a threat it followed through with today. China is expected to respond with its own tariff hikes.


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