Naval chiefs from the Quad nations meet in Japan ahead of the Malabar Multilateral Exercise

Naval chiefs from the Quad nations meet in Japan ahead of the Malabar Multilateral Exercise

The navies of India, Australia, Japan and the US, the four countries that make up the Quad, met in Japan on November 5, 2022 and exchanged views on “further enhancing interoperability” in future editions of Malabar. multilateral naval exercises. Meanwhile, in another development, the Chinese research vessel Yuan Wang-6 entered the Indian Ocean through the Sunda Strait.

The meeting in Tokyo comes ahead of a series of multilateral activities hosted by Japan over the next few weeks, including naval war games. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Exercise Malabar, which began as a bilateral exercise between India and the US in 1992.

While the course of the Chinese vessel is not known, official sources said the Indian Navy is closely monitoring its movements. This comes just three months after a major diplomatic standoff between India and Sri Lanka over the docking of a similar vessel at the island nation’s Hambantota port in August.

Earlier in the day, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Hari Kumar arrived in Japan on an official visit from November 5 to 9, where he will witness the International Fleet Review (IFR) conducted by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. in Yokosuka on November 6 to mark its 70th formation anniversary, the Indian Navy said in a statement.

“During the visit, as one of the observer fleets at the Western Pacific Maritime Symposium (WPNS), CNS will participate in the 18th WPNS to be held on November 07-08 in Yokohama, which will be hosted by Japan, as the current Chair of the WPNS. : Navi stated:

Furthermore, Admiral Kumar will also attend the opening of Exercise Malabar in Yokosuka and interact with his counterparts and heads of delegations from around 30 countries participating in the IFR, WPNS and Malabar exercises, according to the Navy.

Indian Navy ships Shivalik and Kamorta arrived in Yokosuka on November 2 to participate in the IFR and Malabar exercises. “The presence of these indigenous ships of the Indian Navy at these multinational events will provide an opportunity to showcase the shipbuilding capabilities of Indian shipyards at a large international gathering,” the Navy added.

Chinese research vessel

The timing of the Yuan Wang-6 entry coincides with India’s planned long-range missile test next week. According to open-source intelligence on Twitter, India issued a NOTAM (Notification to Pilots) notification from November 10 to 11 within 2,200 km of the no-go zone over the Bay of Bengal. Given the range, the test is likely to be of the Agni series of medium-range ballistic missiles.

According to marine vessel tracking portal, the Yuan Wang-6 departed from Jiangning, China on October 21 and was off Indonesia on the morning of November 4, heading southwest.

Although research activities in international waters are permitted under international regulations, the data obtained is ambiguous, including military, and many times the motive of the Chinese vessels appears questionable, defense officials said.

Just a few days ago, the Ministry of Defense of Japan reported that a Chinese research vessel entered Japan’s territorial waters in the early morning of November 2. The diplomat By Takahashi Kosuke Jane’s Defense Weeklyit was the fourth time this year that a People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) ship had invaded Japanese waters, a record high.

In the past, Chinese Navy ships have been spotted in the vicinity during the Malabar exercise.

As reported The Hindu Earlier, there was a steady increase in the deployment of Chinese research vessels in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), with the total deployment area observed around the ninety degree East and Southwest Indian Ridge. Research or research vessels have powerful equipment for exploration and collecting a variety of data.

Speaking at an event in September, Admiral Kumar said: “At any given time, we have anything between five and eight Chinese naval units, whether warships or research vessels and a number of Chinese fishing vessels operating in the IOR. We follow them and see how they carry out their activities in the IOR.”

China’s presence in the Indian Ocean began in 2008 under the guise of anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, and since then China has maintained a presence in the region, even occasionally deploying nuclear attack submarines.

Since then, China has established a military base in Djibouti and developed several dual-use ports in the IOR in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Pakistan, among other countries. “We have airplane flights, [and] Ships have been deployed almost 24×7 to monitor the IOR,” Admiral Kumar stated.

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