Malabar naval exercise directed against China and won't serve New Delhi's interests, says CPM

New Delhi: The just concluded Malabar naval exercise involving the US, India and Japan is directed against China and won't serve New Delhi's interests, the CPM has said.

File image of INS Sahyadri during Malabar naval exercise 2017. Indian Navy

File image of INS Sahyadri during Malabar naval exercise 2017. Image courtesy: Indian Navy

"What the Malabar exercise symbolises is India's becoming a full-fledged military partner of the US strategy in Asia which is directed towards containing China," said an editorial in the CPM journal People's Democracy.

"How this will serve India's national interests is for the Modi government to answer. The military alliance with the US is detrimental to India's sovereignty and strategic autonomy," the Communist Party of India-Marxist said.

The 21st edition of the Malabar exercises was one of the largest joint naval exercises in the region involving 16 ships, two submarines and 95 aircraft from the three countries.

The joint naval exercise between the US and India began in 1992 and it marked the beginning of the military collaboration between the two countries. It became an annual feature since 2002.

"Over the years the Malabar exercises have come to be seen as directed against the growing naval might of China and its increasing role in the India-Pacific region," the editorial said.

"This became more evident when India made Japan a permanent member in the Malabar exercises since 2015. The trilateral security alliance between the US, India and Japan is another dimension in the US geopolitical strategy in Asia," it said.

"The US would like Australia to join the Malabar exercises... For the Modi government, bringing in the Australians would be the next logical step; this would be the quadrilateral alliance which the US is aiming for."

Updated Date: Jul 20, 2017 15:58 PM

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