India-Philippines conducts naval exercise in South China Sea

India and the Philippines conducted a naval exercise in the South China Sea on August 23, 2021.

Key facts

  • This exercise was conducted five days after conducting a similar drill with Vietnam in the region. Indian and Vietnamese navies had conducted the naval exercise on August 18.
  • The South China Sea region has been witnessing growing Chinese military expansionism.
  • Indian Navy had deployed its guided missile destroyer INS Ranvijay and guided missile corvette INS Kora while the Philippine Navy has deployed its frigate BRP Antonio Luna, in the exercise.
  • This joint exercise included several operational maneuvers. Participating ships were satisfied with the consolidation of interoperability that was achieved through this operational interaction at sea.

Objective of the exercise

This bilateral exercise was conducted with the objective of strengthening bilateral collaboration in maritime domain in order to ensure a stable, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

Dispute between China and Philippines

This military drill is significant considering the fact that, the Philippines government call the eastern parts of South China Sea as West Philippine Sea. On the other hand, China claims sovereignty over all South China Sea as it is a huge source of hydrocarbons.

The South China Sea

The marginal sea in Western Pacific Ocean is bounded by the shores of South China, Indochinese Peninsula, Islands of Taiwan, Islands of Philippines, and Borneo, eastern Sumatra and Bangka Belitung Islands. It is a region of huge economic and geostrategic importance. One-third of the world’s maritime shipping passes through the region. It is believed that, huge oil and natural gas reserves lie beneath its seabed.

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