New Delhi: – The US aircraft carriers started patrolling and held war exercises in the regions of Chinese influence, thus issuing a stern warning to China. Now, India has increased this pressure on China by preparing to include Australia in the Malabar war exercises, along with the United States and Japan. The Indian defence ministry might make an official announcement in this respect by next week. There are clear indications that the joint war exercises held by India, the United States, Japan and Australia, the mighty four from the Indo-Pacific region, are conducted with a clear intent of countering the Chinese activities of dominance in the area.
The Malabar war exercises, held in the Bay of Bengal, started as joint exercises between India and the United States. In 2015, China had objected to the inclusion of Japan in these war exercises. But later, the United States and Japan demanded that Australia should be included in these joint exercises held between the leading countries of the Indo-Pacific region. India had postponed the decision, but because of the rising tension with China since the last few days, there is a dense possibility that India will include Australia in the Malabar war exercises. Sources informed that the defence ministry could announce a decision regarding this in the next week.
Inclusion of Australia in the Malabar war exercises could be the most crucial change in the Indian policy for the Indo-Pacific region. Derek Grossman, an analyst at the study group Rand corporation in the United States, claimed that the inclusion of Australia in the Malabar war exercises would deliver a clear message to China that the organisation QUAD has become more active in the Indo-Pacific region. China is already looking at QUAD, formed by the four large democracies from the Indo-Pacific region, with suspicion. Moreover, the increasing cooperation of the QUAD members with South Korea, Vietnam and New Zealand, against the background of the Coronavirus pandemic has added to the Chinese restlessness.
The independent defence agreements signed among the QUAD countries, over the last few months, also become noteworthy. As per the agreement signed by India and Australia, both the countries have granted access to each other’s military bases and ports. India has signed a similar agreement even with the United States. Whereas, a few days ago, India held discussions with Japan regarding allowing the use of Andaman and Nicobar Islands by the Japanese navy. China firmly believes that QUAD cooperation is only against China. The military analysts claim that China is making efforts at various levels to break this cooperation.
Digging up border dispute with Indian is a major Chinese strategic ploy. China had devised a crooked plan that if it engaged India in a border dispute, India would not focus on the development of its navy. The Chinese conspiracy was to increase its naval domination to the Indian Ocean region to corner India. China had made strong preparations to make use of Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for this purpose. But now with the increasing QUAD cooperation, the Chinese ploy seems to be backfiring. Inclusion of Australia in the Malabar war exercises will be a strong Indian retaliation against the Chinese strategies.