Tokyo/Guam/Beijing – While China is increasing its pressure on ASEAN countries, including Taiwan, by raising the issue of Afghanistan, the United States has taken an aggressive stance, with its allies, on the issue of Indo-Pacific. In the past few weeks, the United States has launched a series of naval exercises in the Indo-Pacific region to maintain pressure on China. Near Japan, two US supercarriers and a British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth carry out activities with their Carrier Strike Group. At the same time, the naval exercise ‘Malabar 21’ of the ‘QUAD’ group of countries, near the Guam base of the United States, has also started from Thursday.
China has once again become aggressive in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan last week. China has started citing the US defeat in Afghanistan to threaten Taiwan and other countries in Southeast Asia. At the same time, it has given impetus to expansionist activities in the South China Sea. Against the backdrop of Chinese actions, the United States and its allies also accelerate their movements in the Indo-Pacific.
The United States and the United Kingdom have since launched separate naval exercises in the East China Sea. The British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived in the Indo-Pacific last month with her Carrier Strike Group. The British naval fleet has been stationed in Japan and participated in the Trilateral Naval Exercise with the Japanese and US navies for the past few days. Two US carriers, USS America and USS Carl Vinson, and their strike groups participated in the exercises. More than 80 advanced fighter jets, including more than 20 warships from both navies, are said to be part of the naval exercise.
While these exercises are being held, Malabar naval exercises of the Quad Group started near the US defence base in Guam on Thursday. The exercise involves nine warships, submarines, helicopters and maritime patrol aircraft from the United States, India, Australia and Japan. The four-day naval exercise will include anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface and anti-air warfare, and tactical exercises, sources said. According to US officials, the ‘Malabar’ naval exercise is held since 1992 and is the 25th.
Last month, the United States and Australia held a bilateral naval exercise, the Talisman Saber 21, ahead of extensive naval exercises near Japan and Guam. This is followed by the start of military exercises between the United States and South Korea last week. The US and Allied navies are heavily deployed in the Indo-Pacific region through all these exercises. Analysts claim that the right message is being delivered to China.