Exercise Sea Dragon 22

The Sea Dragon 22 exercise is a multinational exercise. The countries that are participating in the exercise are India, Australia, Canada, US, South Korea and Japan. It is held at Andersen Air Force base, Guam. It is a US air force base.

About Sea Dragon 22

It is a US – led exercise. It will focus on anti – submarine warfare training. During the exercise the countries will discuss traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo – Pacific region. The exercise includes 270 hours of in – flight training.

Dragon Belt Award

During the exercise, the different events are to be held among the military forces of the participating countries. And the country scoring the highest points will be awarded the Dragon Belt Award. In 2021, the Dragon Belt Award was won by Royal Canadian Air Force.

Why is the exercise important?

The exercise is important as some of the participating countries have strained relations with China. In the last 2 decades Chinese interests in the Indian Ocean Region have increased. This is mainly because 80% of Chinese oil imports pass through the Malacca strait and Indian Ocean. China is expanding its presence in the India Ocean under its Look West Policy. It has made significant infrastructural developments in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Myanmar and Seychelles. China is also looking for opportunities to increase its ties with the western African Indian Ocean states. China is supplying weapons to Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, in a way trying to colonise the countries.

Why is Indo – Pacific Region in the centre stage?

The main reason is the sea routes and oil trade. Before cold war the centre stage was taken by Atlantic Ocean. India sees the Indo – Pacific as open, inclusive and balanced space. The US sees Indo – Pacific as free and open. The ASEAN sees Indo Pacific as consociational model. Consociationalism is stable democracy, especially in deeply divided states.

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