Despite the current cracks in U.S.-China relations, both countries have opted to send warships to take part in a multinational naval exercise that began in Indonesia on Monday. Australia and Russia are also expected to send warships to the exercise, according to a list of Indonesian military forces seen by AFP.
(Deutsche Welle Chinese website) Washington and Beijing are engaged in fierce competition in diplomatic, military, technological and economic fields. The U.S. military has stepped up its Asia-Pacific operations in response to an increasingly assertive China that has recently held frequent military exercises around Taiwan. However, both the United States and China have sent warships to participate in the 2023 “Komodo-2023” multinational maritime alliance held by Indonesia in waters off its Sulawesi island from Monday to Thursday (June 5-8). exercise.
A spokesman for the US embassy in Jakarta told AFP on Sunday (June 4) that the US Navy sent a littoral combat ship to participate in the exercise. The exercises will allow the United States “to work together with like-minded nations, our allies and our partners to address common challenges,” such as humanitarian operations and disaster response, the spokesman said.
According to Chinese official media reports on Sunday, the Chinese naval fleet composed of the Zhanjiang ship and the Xuchang ship of the Chinese Navy arrived at the assembly area of the “Komodo-2023” multinational maritime joint exercise that morning. “Navy representatives from 36 participating countries signed a plaque to witness the start of the exercise,” Chinese state media reported on Monday.
Russian warships will show up too?
The “Komodo-2023” multinational maritime joint exercise is a multinational joint exercise organized by the Indonesian Navy. This year is the fourth, including the port stage and the sea stage. The last “Komodo” military exercise was conducted in 2018, when China also sent two warships. Subsequently, the military exercise was suspended due to the new crown epidemic.
Indonesia invited many countries to participate in the military exercise. Australia and Russia are expected to send warships to take part in the drills, according to a list from the Indonesian military seen by AFP.
Indonesian officials said a total of 17 foreign ships would take part in the drills, which will focus on nonmilitary operations with key allies.
Indonesian navy spokesman I Made Wira Hady said in a statement that the multinational maritime exercise is a non-combat exercise that focuses on maritime cooperation in the region.
Amid U.S.-China Tensions
Agence France-Presse reported that Washington and Beijing currently have differences and disputes on Taiwan and other Asia-Pacific issues. Tensions between the United States and China have escalated after a Chinese balloon that the United States considered a “spy balloon” was shot down in the United States.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the Shangri-La Dialogue, a defense forum in Singapore last week, that the U.S. and China need to resume dialogue to avoid “misunderstandings” leading to conflict.
According to the US media “Wall Street Journal”, the United States had hoped to facilitate the meeting between the defense ministers of the United States and China during the forum, butChina rejects U.S. meeting request。
At the Shangri-La Dialogue that opened on June 2, U.S. Defense Secretary Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu nodded with a smile and shook hands. However, according to reports, the two had no substantive exchanges at the meeting.
A spokesman for China’s foreign ministry said last week that “the reason for the difficulties in dialogue between the Chinese and the US military is clear to the US side” and demanded that the US “show sincerity”.
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