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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

What is happening in Bay of Bengal?

While our politicians are langushing in jails, something interesting is happening at the Bay of Bengal. Meanwhile, Bush has landed in Australia to attend APEC meeting. A chill wind seems to be blowing as Asia redesigns its strategic alignments.

This is from: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/101964.html

Warships from five nations, with the major component being from India and the US, Tuesday began war games in the Bay of Bengal that are aimed at improving inter-operability between their navies, even as the communist parties staged demonstrations against the drill.

Malabar-2007, as the Sep 4-9 exercise is named, features 25 vessels participating in a variety of manoeuvres.

These include interception and dissimilar air combat exercises, surface and anti-submarine warfare, maritime interdiction and VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure) operations to counter piracy and terrorist acts at sea.

The Malabar series is now in its 13th year. The drill has previously been a bilateral India-US engagement and has been expanded for the first time to also include Japan, Australia and Singapore.

So, tension is slowly building up in Asia to stop China becoming more powerful. USA, however, denied this last month: Read this Reuters despatch from Delhi on 23 August:

Admiral Timothy J. Keating, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, told reporters in New Delhi the exercises were not an attempt to corner China. "There is no, let me emphasize, no effort on our part or any of those (participating) countries' part, I am sure, to isolate China, to put China in a closet," Keating said."Rather than give the perception that we are looking to isolate China, quite the contrary, we are looking to embrace them to the extent that we should and can and want to, and the extent that they want," he added.

When the four powers set up the initiative (informally named the Quad) in Manila last May, a deeply-concerned Beijing sent formal protests to the four governments. Read this BBC commentary on China's displeasure about new 'strategic alliance' against it: (from:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1890485/posts)

"Defence papers issued by all four governments have described China as a potential threat, and that combined with the launch of the Quad suggest a pattern of alliance-building activities that China cannot ignore.

Perhaps as a sign of things to come, 1,600 Chinese troops travelled to Russia's Ural mountains to join several thousand mostly Russian troops in "Peace Mission 2007" manoeuvres in August. "

While Indian Left are protesting, led by Jyoti Bashu, ours Left is in complete doldrum and happily sleeping.

Good Luck Bangladesh, we are all sleeping like Rip Van Winkle.

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