Chinese spy ship shadows US, Japanese, Indian naval drill

15 Jun 2016 | By Sneha Johny

A Chinese observation ship followed the U.S. aircraft carrier, John C. Stennis, amid the Malabar naval drill.

The John C. Stennis, which carries FA-18 fighter jets, was accompanied by nine naval ships including a Japanese helicopter carrier and Indian frigates.

Sub-hunting patrol planes launched from bases in Japan are participating in the joint annual naval exercise between the US, India and Japan.

In context: The Malabar naval exercises

What are the Malabar exercises?

Malabar began as a bilateral naval exercise between the US Navy and its Indian counterpart in 1992, and has now become permanent trilateral exercise after the inclusion of Japan as a permanent member in 2016.

Indian OceanMalabar exercises go beyond Indian Ocean

In 2007, the ninth Malabar exercise was the first one to be held outside the Indian Ocean.

The naval exercise included 25 vessels from India, the United States, Japan, Australia and Singapore in the Bay of Bengal.

China, which has been building naval cooperation with Bangladesh and Myanmar to gain access to the Bay of Bengal, was said to be dissatisfied over the event.

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The Malabar exercises: Current context

Recent significanceThe Malabar exercises: Current context

The 2016 Malabar exercise is being held close to the South China Sea, where China is engaged in a territorial dispute with neighbouring countries.

In addition, Japan and China are also involved in a dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu island chains in the East China Sea/Sea of Japan.

With Japanese, American and Indian navies so close to their disputed maritime boundaries, the exercise threatens China.

SCS The South China Sea dispute

The South China Sea disputes involve both island and maritime claims between Brunei, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam.

Each of the different states have incentives to be gained from acquiring the many fishing areas, accessing natural reserves, and gaining logistical control of shipping lanes around the South China Sea region.

China seeks control of the whole region based on historical claims.

10 Jun 2016US, India, Japan kick-off joint naval exercise 'Malabar'

The Malabar joint naval exercises between India, Japan and the US began in the northern waters of the Philippine Sea.

This region falls close to the East and South China Seas where Beijing is incresingly involved in conflicts with Washington.

The trilateral naval exercise included both on-shore and at-sea phases being conducted from 10 June to 17 June, 2016.

15 Jun 2016Chinese spy ship shadows US, Japanese, Indian naval drill

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US to expand East Asia role

Authorities say that wary of China's more assertive maritime role in the region, the U.S. Navy's Third Fleet, a military formation of the US Navy, plans to send more ships to East Asia to work alongside the Japan-based Seventh Fleet.