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Indian Navy Tracks Chinese-Pakistani Joint Maritime Exercises Amid Global Tensions

Chinese submarines and warships have been observed heading towards Pakistan, where joint maritime exercises with Pakistan are reportedly on the horizon.

Edited By : Malika Sahni | Updated: Oct 27, 2023 08:26 IST
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Amid a backdrop of global instability, marked by conflicts such as the Russia-Ukraine war and the ongoing tensions between Hamas and Israel, there are notable maritime activities taking place. Chinese submarines and warships have been observed heading towards Pakistan, where joint maritime exercises with Pakistan are reportedly on the horizon. The Indian Navy has responded by maintaining a vigilant watch over these movements, deploying P-8I surveillance planes and MQ-9B Predator drones.

India regards the Indian Ocean region as an area of its responsibility and, accordingly, closely monitors Chinese naval activities in this region. Recent reports indicate that three Chinese Navy warships, including a destroyer and a tanker along with a frigate, are positioned in the Persian Gulf. The Pakistan Navy is expected to join these vessels for the planned maritime exercise. These three warships were initially part of the 44th Anti-Piracy Escort Force, and as of May 2023, they have transitioned their role to the 45th Anti-Piracy Escort Force in the Gulf of Aden.

The presence of Chinese and Pakistani warships in the Persian Gulf region is of concern to security agencies, particularly due to its proximity to areas where the U.S. Navy has been deployed in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Notably, Chinese warships have also been joined by a Song-class submarine and a Submarine Support Vessel Chang Dao (ASR 847). Indian Naval assets have closely monitored these ships, particularly in areas surrounding the Strait of Malacca.

The anticipated joint maritime exercises with the Pakistan Navy are slated for mid to late November and will involve active participation from Pakistani assets. Furthermore, the Indian Navy has maintained surveillance over a Chinese para-military research vessel, Shi Yan 6, which has been present in the Indian Ocean region since mid-September.

The situation reflects the ongoing complexities and dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region, underscoring the need for continued vigilance and strategic readiness by regional naval forces. India, in particular, remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding its maritime interests and regional security.

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First published on: Oct 27, 2023 08:26 AM IST

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