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Quad naval exercises to be held off Indian Coast

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Quad naval exercises to be held off Indian Coast

Screen Shot 2020 11 02 at 11 40 47 AM 1
Photo: Hindustan Times

The first phase of Exercise Malabar 2020 will begin today off the eastern coast of India.

The annual maritime exercise typically featuring the Indian, Japanese and US navies will also see the participation of Australia for the first time in 13 years. The exercises, conducted as “non-contact, at sea only”, will include complex and advanced manoeuvres, including surface, anti-submarine and anti-air operations. Recent moves to revive the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad) and its collective participation in Malabar 2020 are a response to China’s contentious actions in the region, further galvanised by recent confrontations with India.

Considering Beijing’s vigorous opposition at the last expanded version of the exercise in 2007, further pushback from Beijing is expected. Indeed, the Chinese government has already announced new trading bans on Australia.

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Still, Malabar 2020 has the potential to become a complex, “high-end” war-fighting exercise considering each of the four countries already conducts annual bilateral air and maritime exercises with the other three partners. Moreover, today’s exercise points to the emergence of a structured maritime coalition in the Indo-Pacific, exemplifying a growing convergence of like-minded nations vis-à-vis a revisionist China.

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