WASHINGTON D.C.: In a potential response to the U.S. and India pledging security cooperation, the Chinese and Pakistani navies are holding weeklong drills in the Arabian Sea, just days after the Russian Pacific Fleet and Myanmar conducted their first maritime exercise.
The Chinese and Pakistani navies began the exercise at a naval base in Karachi over the weekend, covering the waters and airspace of the northern Arabian Sea in drills that include anti-submarine operations.
This week, the People's Liberation Army Daily said that during the exercise, which will end on November 17, China and Pakistan will conduct joint maritime patrols for the first time.
In response to deeper defense cooperation between China and Pakistan, and Russia and Myanmar, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held defense talks in New Delhi on November 10 with their Indian counterparts during the so-called "2+2 Dialogue."
In a joint statement released after the dialogue, the U.S. and Indian governments pledged their commitment to safeguarding a free and open Indo-Pacific.
However, despite its relations with Washington growing steadily stronger, New Delhi has carefully maintained its ties with Russia, including their defense cooperation.
China was not mentioned in the joint statement.
This week, U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in San Francisco, and Washington is expected to seek the re-establishment of military relations with Beijing.