The navy departments of the Quad – India, Japan, Australia and US have commenced their joint exercises on their collaboration in the Indian Ocean. This happened after the Quad alliance revived their collaboration, during the due rising border tensions with China.
The Malabar exercise will mark the warships functioning in the Bay of Bengal, in proximity to Malacca Strait, a natural choke point, following which, will proceed towards Arabian Sea, across one of the busiest trade routes by water in the world.
The Quad Alliance, first formed in 2007, after which revived in 2017, has always made China uncomfortable, and has been transparent about its discomfort pertaining to the military drills. At a routine briefing in Beijing on Tuesday, foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin stated, “We hope relevant countries’ military operation will be conducive to regional peace and stability, instead of the contrary.”
The naval exercise is being executed during the catastrophic fall out and border tensions between India and China. Also, US is heading for Presidential elections.
Australia’s participation in the naval exercise happened after a few days post the Quad meeting conducted in Tokyo on October 6, where the foreign ministers had a personalized face-to-face meeting. At the meeting, India’s External Affairs Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar stated, “Our objective remains advancing the security and the economic interests of all countries having legitimate and vital interests in the region.”
Australian Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds stated the need to have cooperation with like-minded countries is the need of the hour, indicating her enthusiasm for the Quad naval exercise. She said the exercise was an “important opportunity to work in concert with like-minded nations to support a secure, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region”