Australia Joins United States, Japan For Navy Exercises In Philippine Sea As Concern Grows In China

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“Strategic balancing against China is accelerating dramatically in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Prof. Rory Medcalf, director of the National Security College at the Australian National University and author of The New Indo-Pacific Empire, who describes the power struggle between China and the United States.“The symbolism of these exercises is powerful,” Prof Medcalf told The Telegraph. “It’s a powerful reminder that the combined quad navies – America, Japan, India, Australia – are more than enough to make China think, and that Beijing’s confrontational behavior has brought them together.

“It’s a reminder of the cordon they could form if the confrontation ever escalates. China simply cannot control the vast Indo-Pacific region over which its oil industries and quasi-colonial ambitions have spread – it must find a point of settlement before a crisis occurs. end. ”

Recently, China raised the alarm with increasingly assertive movements in the contested territories of the resource-rich South China Sea, and experts have warned of Chinese rule in an area where shipping lanes trade are essential to global trade and could be exploited for economic coercion.

Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan all have claims to territory to which Beijing retains historic rights, and concerns have grown over massive Chinese investments in structures and facilities in the China Sea. southern, dredging through rocks and reefs to enlarge the disputed islands.

While the United States has strengthened its freedom of navigation operations, China has stepped up its own military exercises and last week deployed fighter jets to Woody Island in the Paracels, an archipelago also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.

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