14 February 2014
Canberra scrambles plane to monitor exercises in waters between Indonesia and Australia
CHINA’S navy conducted unannounced military exercises in waters between Indonesia and Australia earlier this month, prompting Australia to scramble an air force surveillance plane to monitor the proceedings.
The Chinese drills, which come on the heels of its patrol of James Shoal off the coast of Sarawak, are seen as the strongest signal yet of China’s desire to play a greater role on the high seas and flex its growing naval capabilities.
The five-day exercise between Java and Christmas Island began on Jan 29, and involved anti-piracy, search and rescue, damage control and combat drills.
… “These exercises do attest to China’s expanding interests, and the intention to protect them, in the Indian Ocean,” Mr Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies told The Straits Times.
“They also carry an implicit message that China wants to be reckoned with as an Indian Ocean power by other countries with a naval presence there, particularly India, the United States and Australia.”
IDSS / RSIS / Print
Last updated on