Home Opinion US, Japan, India joins hands to check China’s aggression in South Asian region

US, Japan, India joins hands to check China’s aggression in South Asian region

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US, Japan, India joins hands to check China's aggression in South Asian region

Rapid militarisation by China in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean has become serious cause of concern for India and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries.  Defying the verdict of PCA (Permanent court of Arbitration) and UNCLOS, China is increasing its dominance in the Indian Ocean and aggressively building artificial islands in the South China Sea. At least one third of global trade is conducted by ships through these waters and it is necessary for countries like USA, Japan and India to come together for an agreed security architecture to keep a check on any country which poses a threat to freedom of navigation. This combined effort is reinforced by the fact that India and the ASEAN countries have limited ability to manage regional security issues.

India objected to the PLA’s presence in the Indian Ocean region with the argument that if India cannot have free access to its naval forces in South China Sea, then how China can do the same in the Indian Ocean. With USA and Japan keeping any eye, Beijing has to tread very cautiously as the center of power has started to move from China towards India and other south East Asian countries.

China’s policy is to have complete control on the South Asia’s water but it does it slowly by claiming one territory at a time and portraying it as a bi-lateral dispute. This is to avoid super powers like Japan and USA from interjecting. However, with the increasing proximity of India, US and Japan this strategy of China had received a huge setback.

The trilateral naval exercise ‘Malabar’ among US, India and Japan involved aircraft carriers, warships fighter combats and anti-submarine warfare. This joint exercise will be conducive to regional peace, security and stability.

As the three countries now exert their power through a forward defence, it will result in freedom of navigation, over-flight and unrestricted commerce. China will continue to dominate north part of the sea but central and south waters will not be easy for making its unsubstantiated territorial claims. Also, these countries will not shy of selling intelligence, surveillance and military observation to ASEA countries like Vietnam and Philippines

When China moved its massive oilrig into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone in 2014, Vietnam had limited options to respond but now with allies like USA, Japan and India, Beijing may not find things easy.

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