The Hush Post | 14:58 | Two-minute read
India has joined the three nations- the US, the Philippines and Japan in their first joint naval drill in the disputed South China Sea. On Thursday, Indian Navy participated in the six-day joint naval drill.
The Indian Navy tweeted and posted pictures of the warships that participated in the coordinated group sail.
The spokesperson of the Indian Navy said, “#IndianNavy ships Kolkata & Shakti carry out Group Sail with Naval ships of @USNavy in the South China Sea from 03-09 May 19. The six-day long Group Sail had participation of six combatants from the four participating countries.”
The Indian Navy further tweeted, “Besides Kolkata & Shakti, Helicopter Carrier JMSDF Izumo & Guided Missile Destroyer JMSDF Murasame of Japan; Frigate BRP Andres Bonifacio of Philippines and Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer USS Williams P Lawrence of USA participated.”
Meanwhile, Commander Andrew J Klug, commanding officer of USS William P Lawrence said in a statement, “Our team was really excited to take part in this multi-lateral event,”
“Professional engagements with our allies, partners and friends in the region are opportunities to build upon our existing, strong relationships as well as learn from each other,” Klug said.
In the six-day long sea drill the ships conducted formation exercises, communication drills, passenger transfers and held a leadership exchange aboard JS Izumo.
The combined show of naval might comes at a time of heightened tensions in the trade war between China and the US. The two world powers locked in a tussle for the commercial control of South China Sea which serves as a passage for annual trade worth USD 3.5 trillion.
China claims almost all of the strategic South China Sea with Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam pushing competing claims to parts of the resource-rich maritime region.
The United States, Japan and India do not have any territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea.
Islands in the South China Sea account for 12 percent of global fishing through which 30 per cent of the world’s trade passes, apart from housing possible oil and gas reserve.