Hawaii: Amid Coronavirus crisis and the growing threat posed by China, the world’s most massive naval exercise ‘the Rim of the Pacific’ (RIMPAC) 2020 has begun. This year, the drills received participation from 10 nations, 22 warships, submarines and more than 5,000 troops. Of these, the involvement from and Australia is significant. Both the countries have condemned Chinese activities in the Indo-Pacific as also hinted at stepping up deployments in the region.
Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is making forceful efforts for fulfilling its expansionist ambitions. The Chinese regime has not only ramped up deployments in various parts of the Indo-Pacific but is also intruding into foreign territories. The country is continuously engaged in disruptive activities such as sinking ships, violating maritime boundaries of other nations and threatening them with its military might. Also, the new national security law the CCP introduced to take complete control over Hong Kong and threats to attack Taiwan, have only added to it. Further, China is putting up a show of force in parts of the Indo-Pacific as well.
On the sidelines of the recent events, the US had clearly stated its posture of open confrontation with China last month as it defined its stance with respect to the South China Sea. The US has accused China of encroaching territories of other nations in the Indo-Pacific and threatened it would stand firm to protect such countries. Even as the US and several nations across the globe are hit due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Rim of the Pacific exercise was organised as part of the US commitment to its regional allies and partners, the US military officials affirmed.
Canada, France, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand and Brunei are participating along with the US in the RIMPAC 2020 exercise. Vice Admiral Scott Conn, commander of US Navy 3rd Fleet, explained the training being held till the end of August, would focus entirely on warfighting in the maritime domain. These will include anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, maritime interdiction operations, and robust live-fire events, Vice Adm. Scott Conn informed.
Previously, the RIMPAC exercise was held in 2018, where 25 nations, 45 warships, 5 submarines and almost 25,000 soldiers had participated.