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Indian and Chinese Navies To Participate in the Indian Ocean Exercise in November

Aug. 14, 2017 (EIRNS)—Despite continuing claims by the media that a conflict is ready to break out between China and India over the on-going border dispute involving Bhutan, Bangladesh announced today that the Indian and Chinese navies will participate in the first-ever International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) scheduled for November and organized by the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). While India will be participating as a member country, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy has agreed to participate as an observer, Sputnik reported.

Bangladesh, the current Chair, is scheduling a maiden International Maritime Search and Rescue Exercise (IMMSAREX) in November in the Bay of Bengal to be attended by ships and aircraft of the members and observers of the IONS, an official source said, according to The Hindu. IONS is represented by 23 Indian Ocean littoral member-states, which include India, and nine observers, which include China.

Rejecting Sputnik’s suggestion that the IMMSAREX is a confidence-building measure, Commodore Abhay Kumar Singh, a military analyst at India’s Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), said the Indian Navy in the past has exercised with the PLA Navy in multilateral exercises, for example, ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), exercise in Indonesia, and the Australian Navy’s International Fleet Review.

At present, the Indian Navy is coordinating with other navies, including the PLA Navy, in the anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden through the SHADE (Shared Awareness and De-confliction) mechanism, notwithstanding the current standoff at the border between India and China, Sputnik reported.