China said on Tuesday that it had “taken note” of India’s announcement that Australia would join the annual Malabar naval exercise with the US and Japan, underlining that military cooperation should be “conducive” to regional peace and stability .
India announced on Monday that Australia would join the upcoming Malabar exercise which effectively meant that all four member countries of the ‘Quad’ or Quadrilateral Alliance would participate in the mega drill.
The US and Japan are the other countries participating in the annual exercise, which is likely to take place in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea next month.
Commenting on the announcement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told in a media briefing here that China “has paid attention to this development.” “We always believe that military cooperation between countries should be conducive to regional peace and stability,” he said in a brief response. India’s decision to become part of the mega naval drill continues to escalate amid increasing tensions with China at the border line in Eastern Naval Ladakh.
China has been doubtful about the purpose of the Malabar exercise because it feels that the annual war game is an attempt to have an impact in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Malabar exercise began in the Indian Ocean in 1992 as a bilateral drill between the Indian Navy and the US Navy. In 2015 Japan became a permanent partner in the practice. This annual exercise was held on the coast of Guam in the Philippine Sea in 2018 and off the coast of Japan in 2019.
For the past few years, Australia has been showing keen interest in engaging in practice.
The emerging situation in the Indo-Pacific has become a prominent feature among the major global powers in view of China’s growing military muscle. The US is in favor of making the Quad a security architecture to test China’s growing assertiveness in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.
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