China said on Tuesday that military cooperation between the countries should be conducive to regional peace, a day after Quad members including India joined France in a naval mega wargame in the Indian Ocean amid aggressive actions by Beijing in the region.
India and three other Quad member countries – the United States, Australia and Japan – joined France on Monday to launch the three-day naval exercises in the eastern Indian Ocean, reflecting their maritime cooperation growing amid increasing efforts by China to expand its influence in the Region.
The Indian Ocean, considered the backyard of the Indian Navy, is essential for India’s strategic interests. China has made concerted efforts to increase its presence in the region.
Asked about his reaction to the Quad Alliance countries joining the French naval exercises “La Pérouse” as the exercises aim to contain and control China, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian reiterated Beijing’s position on Tuesday that such cooperation should be conducive to peace. In the region.
“I have taken note of these reports. We still believe that military cooperation between countries should be conducive to regional peace and stability,” he said in Beijing.
During the exercises, Indian Navy ships and aircraft will exercise at sea with ships and planes from the navies of France, Australia, Japan and the United States. Indian Navy ships Satpura and Kiltan as well as P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft are participating in multilateral exercises.
India has expanded cooperation with the navies of the United States, Japan, Australia and France in recent years.
Indian Navy spokesman Commander Vivek Madhwal said the exercise will assist in complex and advanced naval operations, including exercises in surface warfare, anti-aircraft warfare and air defense. “The exercise will show high levels of synergy, coordination and interoperability between friendly navies,” he said.
“The participation of the Indian Navy in the exercise demonstrates the values shared with friendly navies, ensuring the freedom of the seas and the commitment to an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order. Mr. Madhwal added.
China claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea. Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims.
China is engaged in highly controversial territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has built and militarized many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. Both regions are known to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are also vital for world trade.