The U.S.is planning joint naval exercises with Japan and India later this year in waters north of the Philippines, a decision that could provoke China as territorial disputes heat up in the nearby South China Sea.
“In the context of the US’ accelerated military deployment in the Asia-Pacific region, its strengthening of military alliances with countries in the region and increased military provocations in the South China Sea, it is only reasonable to make comparison between China’s military spending and that of the U.S.”, state-run China Daily said in an editorial.
The American Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, expressed hope in a speech that “in the not-too-distant future”, joint patrols by navy vessels from India and the USA “will become a common and welcome sight throughout Indo-Pacific waters”.
Another editorial in the same newspaper warned that if India conducted joint patrols with the USA, “it will do nothing but showing its hostility against Beijing and devastate their strategic mutual trust, which will also compel the Chinese government to adopt changes in its India policy”. “Adding the USA into this dialogue”, said Harris, “can amplify the message that we are united behind the global rules-based order that has kept the peace and is essential to all of U.S.”.
The second biggest island in the disputed South China Sea is home to about a hundred Filipinos. “It is halfway and we normally stop there to rest”, Bito-onon Jr said.
The tense developments could always blow into a major war since the US is planning to involve India and Australia in the region and inadvertently that could lead the anti-US Russia to intervene in what could prove to be a deadly move for the world.
Stennis, the carrier, arrived in the South China Sea on Tuesday, Navy officials said.
AMID renewed China’s aggression, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago slammed Thursday the current administration for being overly confident that the arbitral tribunal will rule in its favor over the West Philippine Sea dispute. “It will arguably be the defining partnership for America in the 21st Century”.
Harris said while some countries “seek to bully” smaller nations through intimidation and coercion, he praised “India’s example of peaceful resolution of disputes with your neighbors in the waters of the Indian Ocean”.
Without naming China or its military assertiveness in South China Sea, the Admiral said freedom of navigation on the high seas and the airspace above them “are not privileges of rich and powerful countries”.
Under Narendra Modi’s BJP government, which came to power in May 2014, New Delhi has increasingly integrated itself into the US’s strategic offensive against China.
Still, other analysts suggest the forthcoming exercise will put a measure of perspective on the convergence of India’s “Act East” initiative, the US “Rebalance” strategy and Japan’s insistence on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
“If the USA is truly concerned about regional peace and stability, it should support direct negotiations between China and neighbouring countries and not take contradictory actions as if it has some ulterior motives”, she added.