In the midst of extraordinary tensions, an Indian missile destroyer is heading to the South China Sea.
INDIA is planning to send a naval task force to the disputed South China Sea later this month to contest China’s claim.
According to a statement made by the navy on Wednesday, four ships will be sent on a two-month deployment to Southeast Asia, the South China Sea, and the western Pacific.
A guided missile destroyer and a missile frigate are among the ships.
“The deployment of Indian Naval ships aims to emphasize the operational reach, peaceful presence, and solidarity with friendly countries in order to ensure good order in the maritime domain,” according to the navy statement.
According to India’s Defence Ministry, the two-month deployment will include exercises with the Quad alliance, which includes the US, Japan, and Australia.
The statement said, “These marine initiatives strengthen synergy and cooperation between the Indian Navy and friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and commitment to freedom of navigation at sea.”
The US President’s attempt to suppress China’s territorial claims is the Quad alliance of the US, Japan, India, and Australia.
China claims the majority of the South China Sea’s 1.3 million square miles, and India is the most recent country to send ships there.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth, a British aircraft carrier, reached the South China Sea last week, but it is unlikely to sail close to the contested Spratly and Paracel Islands.
Along with US ships, the aircraft carrier will conduct navigational operations.
The UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, told the Times, “It’s no secret that China shadows and challenges ships passing international waters on quite legitimate routes.”
“We will respect China, and we hope China will respect us… we will sail where international law permits.”
The Bayern, a German destroyer, was dispatched on Monday and is scheduled to transit the South China Sea during its six-month Indo-Pacific cruise.
In December, it is scheduled to transit through the South China Sea.
“The message is clear: together with our friends and allies, we are standing up for our principles and interests,” Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told Reuters.
“It is a fact for our Indo-Pacific partners that sea lanes are no longer open and secure, and that territorial claims are being enforced by the law of might is right.”