US, India, Japan naval exercise aimed at peace in region: US commander
Deepening military cooperation between the US, Japan, Australia and India is based on shared values and concerns," a top American commander has said in an apparent reference to the Chinese objections to such multilateral exercises.
The growing partnership between between these countries is to keep peace in the Indo-Asia Pacific region, the commander said, dismissing as "unfortunate" concerns raised by China over multilateral drills, including the Malabar naval exercise.
In Malabar, he said, the US, Japan and India continued growing their partnership to keep the peace throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific. "And in Talisman Saber, Japan and the US joined our war-fighting mates in Australia," Harris said.
"Unfortunately, there are some who question the motives for the increasingly cooperative relationship between the US, Japan, Australia and India," he said.
Harris said that China's desire to pick and choose when it comes to international law demonstrates the kind of nation China is. "To me, China is a strategic competitor for the United States - and to Japan, for that matter," he said.
Harris said that he has repeatedly emphasised that they can't allow the areas where they disagree with China to impact their ability to make progress in the areas where they do agree. "All Indo-Asia-Pacific nations, including the United States, should use smart power and try to cooperate with China where possible," he said.