Yesterday (19 October), in a move that will bring the Quad countries together militarily for the first time in years, India formally invited Australia to participate in the Malabar naval exercise planned for later this year.
Welcoming the decision on Twitter, the handle for the US Navy’s Chief of Information tweeted “Seapower x 4” with the flags of India, the US, Japan and Australia.
The tweet, which comes amid the most serious standoff between India and China in Ladakh, was seen as an endorsement from the United States of India’s decision to invite Australia to the naval exercise.
The US Navy’s tweet has gone viral on social media.
Taking cue from the Navy Chief of Information, the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet, part of the US’ Indo-Pacific Command, also tweeted on the new development.
India’s move, experts say, is aimed at strengthening the partnership with the Quad countries to balance China’s aggressive rise.
The Quad countries had met earlier this month in Japan to discuss, among other things, ways to deal with an increasingly aggressive China. Beijing has been at odds with the four countries over multiple issues.
Ahead of the exercise, India and the US will hold the 2+2 dialogue between the defence and foreign ministers/secretaries of the two countries.
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