A three-ship Chinese navy squadron has concluded exercises in the Indian Ocean and sailed on to the western Pacific, showing off the growing reach of the country’s seagoing forces at a time of sharpening territorial disputes in regional waters.
State broadcaster CCTV said Tuesday that the squadron includes China’s largest amphibious landing ship, the Changbaishan, along with a pair of destroyers. It said they reached the Indian Ocean on Jan. 29 and carried out a series of drills on the themes of counter-piracy, search and rescue, and damage control.
Although not directly targeted at India, the exercises underscore China’s competition with the other Asian giant. India and China have clashed over their disputed Himalayan border and Beijing is a close ally of New Delhi’s arch-rival Pakistan.