Navy joins exercises in South China Sea
10, May 2019
Prelims level : INTERNATIONAL IR1 Mains level : Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations GS2R
Why in news
- Navy ships INS Kolkata and Shakti carried out Group Sail with the naval ships of Japan, the Philippines and the U.S. in the South China Sea (SCS)
- The ships undertook various exercises en route which included formation manoeuvring, under way replenishment runs, cross-deck flying and exchange of sea riders,”
Committed to safety
- The group sail exercise showcased India’s commitment to operating with like-minded nations to ensure safe maritime environment through enhanced interoperability
- China, which claims a major part of the SCS, has disputes with most of its maritime neighbours. Six ships, including a frigate and helicopter carrier JMSDF Izumo from Japan, a Philippines frigate and an Arleigh Burke class destroyer from the U.S. Navy took part in the six-day exercise
Importance of South China Sea
- The South China Sea is a busy international waterway, one of the main arteries of global trade worth more than $5 trillion and is growing year on year.
- It is a rich source of hydrocarbons and natural resources
Islands in the South China Sea
- The islands of the South China Sea can be grouped into two island chains.
- The Paracels Islands: These are clustered in the northwest corner of the Sea.
- The Spratly Islands: These are located in the southeast corner.
South China Sea Dispute
- The South China Sea is an area of growing conflicts due to territorial claims by different countries. With respect to the Spratly Islands, different geographic features are reportedly occupied by claimants such as Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, China, and Malaysia. The Paracels Islands are claimed by China, Vietnam, and Taiwan.