US Navy secretary mentions placing new fleet near Indian, Pacific Oceans

By Livemint

A senior US official has called for the setting up of a new fleet closer to the “crossroads” of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. This is a development with major strategic implications for the US Indo-Pacific policy, its its ties with India and with China.

The announcement by the Trump administration official could be seen one the last major foreign and security policy initiatives shaped by it before it gives way to the Biden administration in January.

The statement immediately garnered major attention around the world with analysts seeing it as a reinforcement of the Trump administration’s Indo-Pacific policy. The Indian and the US navies are currently taking part in an exercise in the Arabian Sea along with the Japanese and Australian naval forces. The remark comes as tensions have risen in the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Taiwan Straits mainly due to aggressive moves by China in the region.

Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in an eye-ball-to-eye-ball standoff along their borders in Ladakh.

“We can’t just rely on the Seventh Fleet in Japan,” Kenneth Braithwaite, secretary of the US Navy said late Tuesday at the Naval Submarine League’s annual symposium.

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