US warship Nimitz to take part in naval exercise with India near Andaman and Nicobar islands

New DelhiEdited By: Palki SharmaUpdated: Jul 21, 2020, 07:16 AM IST


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India will be conducting more drills in the Indian Ocean as it is expanding its alliance on the high seas.

India will be conducting a naval exercise with America. It is the clearest signal to China on a potential military alliance that it faces. 

The naval exercise will be conducted by the USS Nimitz which is one the largest warships in the world and, it is nuclear powered.

The American battle groups will join Indian warships near the Andaman and Nicobar islands. It is India's response to China’s military aggression in the high seas.

The Indian navy’s eastern fleet is carrying out a five-day long exercise off the coast of Andaman and Nicobar islands, today, the American ships joined them. 

The exercise was quite similar to the one carried out with the Japanese navy last month. India will be conducting more drills in the Indian Ocean as it is expanding its alliance on the high seas.

Reports say India is now ready to extend an invitation to Australia for the Malabar exercise which is an annual affair. It involves training both at sea and on land. The participants are usually India, the United States and Japan.

Australia’s inclusion will be a clear signal that the quad is no more just a theory. It is taking clear shape with a clear mission. The quad or strategic quadrilateral involves four countries - India, Australia, Japan and the United States. It was conceptualised as a strategic counter to China in the Indo-Pacific. 

It's been talked about for more than a decade, and Beijing has never liked the idea. Beijing calls it an "anti-China coalition". The members of the quad had been going slow to accommodate China's concerns and sensitivities but not anymore.

They are meeting in the Malabar exercise. In 2007, India had invited Australia and Singapore to join it and China was furious. It issued a demarche to the United States, India, Japan and Australia slamming the expansion of the exercise.

However, this time, India seems to have made up its mind. Australia will join the drill with quad now on the front-burner. India and its allies are gearing up to contain China from blocking Chinese apps, scrutinising Chinese companies and holding China accountable on global platforms - the pushback comes in many forms.

In the US, there is bipartisan support for India's role against China. A group of nine lawmakers from both parties have introduced a resolution which urges China to de-escalate through diplomatic means at the Ladakh border.

The moves and messages from America to Japan and Australia have clear implications for Beijing. Firstly, it shows India has allies and China has angry neighbours.

Secondly, it also demonstrates that India has global support and China will face retaliation if provoked. Also, all options - diplomatic, strategic and military are on the table when it comes to dealing with China.