Asia Minute: Naval Drills of U.S., India and Japan Draw Attention from China

Oct 16, 2015

The INS Shakti replenishing USS Carl Vinson during Exercise Malabar in 2012.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

A submarine based at Pearl Harbor is taking part in naval exercises this week off the coast of India. The annual maneuvers not only involve ships from India - but this year are joined by a contingent from Japan.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

The USS City of Corpus Christi is a Los Angeles class attack submarine based at Pearl Harbor-Hickam - but in recent weeks it’s been on the move in the western Pacific - including stops in Guam and Singapore.  The Indian Express reports that this week its part of the annual naval maneuvers called “Malabar”—off the east coast of India.  Those drills traditionally involve the United States and India, and in the past have included guest contingents or observers from countries such as Singapore and Australia.

This year, Japan is an active participant---and officials say that country will now be a permanent part of the annual drills.  It’s the first time that India has hosted a multilateral naval exercise in its waters since 2007.  That’s certainly drawing attention from China---where the state-run Global Times has already written that “India should be vigilant to any intentions of roping it into an anti-China camp.”

India still remains very much engaged with China.  In fact, this week troops from the Indian Army are working with forces of China’s People’s Liberation Army in anti-terror drills in the Chinese city of Kunming.