India says Australia to join naval drills

Joining All Quad Members Australia Makes a Comeback to Malabar Naval Exercise

The Malabar exercises began in 1992 as a bilateral drill between India and the US.

In a move to strengthen its QUAD grouping, India has invited Australia for the annual Malabar naval exercises which is to be held next month.

Australia will take part in large-scale military exercises off the coast of India next month that will bring together a quartet of countries concerned by rising Chinese influence. China has denounced the Quad as an attempt to contain its development.India's decision on expanding the exercises comes at a time when it is locked in a military stand-off on the disputed land border with China. The drills' exact dates have not been announced. "Soon after Ex Malabar in 2018 in which India, Japan and the United States participated with their aircraft carriers, the Indian Navy exercised with the Royal Australian Navy in the Bay of Bengal which included the participation of submarines".

India pushed for the democracies to come together who support free, open, and collective Indo-Pacific and remain committed to worldwide order and law. Now, all the Quad countries will be participating in a naval war game this year. It resumed in 2017 with a common goal of securing "a free and open Indo-Pacific amid China's aggressive postures in the region", The Economic Times reported after a Quad talk in September 2019. "Coming together of the four major Navies in the region is a welcome step in the right direction and it should deter the CCP Navy in what they are promoting and exercising in the South China Sea (SCS)".

For the last few years, Australia has been showing keen interest in joining the exercise.

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China considers the South China Sea within its territorial limits - a claim not recognized by global law - and views the presence of foreign navies there as a provocation. Dozens of soldiers on either side were killed in a nasty confrontation on the Himalayan border in June.

Quadrilateral grouping, which experts say is to be mirroring North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, has already been criticized by China many times.

Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds said the drills were aimed at "demonstrating our collective resolve to support an open and prosperous Indo-Pacific", Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported Monday.

This is also important as China has been breaking the worldwide maritime rules and laws in South China Sea; in some of the recent cases, China unlawfully claiming Vietnamese territory of Paracels Islands and harassing Vietnamese fishing boats alongside threatening other littoral nations- Philippines and Indonesia- and others in the region.

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