SIGNAL TO CHINA … Australia to participate in Malabar Exercise that will see Quad members in joint military drill in the seas


NEW DELHI: In a new Indian resolve to resist Chinese brow-beating along the northern border in recent weeks, Australia has been welcomed into the high-level Malabar Naval Exercises next month. This is the first time Australia will be participating in the QUAD quadrilateral coalition drill in the seas.

The other participants in the drill by November end in the Arabian Sea will be the United States and Japan. Australia’s participation in the drill on a previous occasion had drawn sharp Chinese criticism.

India stated on Monday: “As India seeks to increase cooperation with other countries in the maritime security domain and in the light of increased defence cooperation with Australia, the Malabar 2020 will see the participation of the Australian Navy. The participating countries, it said, “collectively support free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and remain committed to a rules based international order.”

The Quad came into being in 2017 to check Chinese over-activism in the seas in the Asia-Pacific region. A Quad meeting had been held in Japan earlier this month in which external affairs minister S Jaishankar was a participant. The Naval exercise in November is highly billed, as this will be the first time that Quad members will engage at the military level.

The previous exercise was held off the coast of Guam in the Philippine Sea in 2018 and off the coast of Japan in 2019.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump cautioned the world that election of his rival, Joe Biden of the Democratic Party in the present US polls, if it happens, will mean the coming into being of a pro-China US establishment. This will not be to the interests of the US or nations like India, he has hinted. IHN-NN


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