US, India consider joint patrols in South China SeaFile photo of Chinese vessels around Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands of the South China Sea. —Reuters

US, India consider joint patrols in South China Sea

10 Feb 2016 | 11:04 AM

NEW DELHI: The United States and India have held talks about conducting joint naval patrols that a US defence official said could include the disputed South China Sea, a move that would likely anger Beijing, which claims most of the waterway.

[ + read story ]

New Delhi, February 10

The United States and India have held talks about conducting joint naval patrols that a US defence official said could include the disputed South China Sea, a move that would likely anger Beijing, which claims most of the waterway.

Washington wants its regional allies and other Asian nations to take a more united stance against China over the South China Sea, where tensions have spiked in the wake of Beijing's construction of seven man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago.

India and the United States have ramped up military ties in recent years, holding naval exercises in the Indian Ocean that last year involved the Japanese navy.

But the Indian navy has never carried out joint patrols with another country and a naval spokesman told Reuters there was no change in the government's policy of only joining an international military effort under the United Nations flag.

He pointed to India's refusal to be part of anti-piracy missions involving dozens of countries in the Gulf of Aden and instead carrying out its own operations there since 2008.

The US defence official said the two sides had discussed joint patrols, adding that both were hopeful of launching them within the year. The patrols would likely be in the Indian Ocean where the Indian navy is a major player as well as the South China Sea, the official told Reuters in New Delhi on condition of anonymity.

The official gave no details on the scale of the proposed patrols.

There was no immediate comment from China, which is on a week-long holiday for Chinese New Year.

China accused Washington this month of seeking maritime hegemony in the name of freedom of navigation after a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of a disputed island in the Paracel chain of the South China Sea in late January.

The U.S. Navy conducted a similar exercise in October near one of China's artificial islands in the Spratlys.

Maritime Cooperation

Neither India nor the United States has claims to the South China Sea, but both said they backed freedom of navigation and overflight in the waterway when U.S. President Barack Obama visited New Delhi in January 2015.

Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also agreed at the time to "identify specific areas for expanding maritime cooperation".

More than $5 trillion in world trade moves through the South China Sea each year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan also claim parts of the waterway.

In December, the issue of joint patrols came up when Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar visited the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, an Indian government source said.

"It was a broad discussion, it was about the potential for joint patrols," said the source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

India has a long-running land border dispute with China and has been careful not to antagonise its more powerful neighbour, instead focusing on building economic ties.

But it has stepped up its naval presence far beyond the Indian Ocean, deploying a ship to the South China Sea almost constantly, an Indian navy commander said, noting this wasn't the practice a few years ago.

The commander added that the largest number of Indian naval ship visits in the South China Sea region was to Vietnam, a country rapidly building military muscle for potential conflict with China over the waterway.

Still, the idea of joining the United States in patrols in the region was a long shot, the officer added.

The Philippines has asked the United States to do joint naval patrols in the South China Sea, something a U.S. diplomat said this month was a possibility.

—Reuters

Comedian Gurpreet Ghuggi joins Aam Aadmi PartyBreaking

Comedian Gurpreet Ghuggi joins Aam Aadmi Party

10 Feb 2016 | 11:53 AM

CHANDIGARH: Comedian Gurpreet Ghuggi joined the Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday. “Farmer's plight and dismal condition of common man in Punjab forced me to join politics,” Ghuggi said.

No break-up, SAD and BJP togetherIn New Delhi, agenda for 2017 state election takes shape

No break-up, SAD and BJP together

10 Feb 2016 | 11:17 AM

New Delhi: A day after allies complained of “lack of coordination” in the NDA coalition, BJP president Amit Shah today held separate meetings with Akali Dal and TDP leaders to discuss individual issues.

Headley's deposition adjourned due to technical glitch26/11: Day 3

Headley's deposition adjourned due to technical glitch

10 Feb 2016 | 11:36 AM

MUMBAI: The deposition of Pakistani American terrorist David Coleman Headley before a court here for the third consecutive day, was today adjourned till tomorrow due to a technical problem in the video-link at the US end.

Sanders defeats Clinton, Trump wins in New Hampshire

Sanders defeats Clinton, Trump wins in New Hampshire

10 Feb 2016 | 10:02 AM

MANCHESTER: Bernie Sanders has defeated Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary, and Donald Trump also scored his first victory in a triumph of two candidates who have seized on Americans' anger at the Washington political establishment.

Punjab Dialogue next month: Kejri

Punjab Dialogue next month: Kejri

10 Feb 2016 | 2:00 AM

NEW DELHI: Buoyed by the public participation at its events, the Aam Aadmi Party will soon launch a Punjab Dialogue to comprehend the depth of problems before drawing a roadmap to address these, party convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said.

Siachen braveheart soldiers on

Siachen braveheart soldiers on

10 Feb 2016 | 1:43 AM

NEW DELHI: The next 48 hours are medically crucial for the Army jawan who was miraculously found alive after being buried under 25 feet of snow following an avalanche atop the Siachen glacier.

‘Happy Birthday’ set for public domain after long feud

‘Happy Birthday’ set for public domain after long feud

10 Feb 2016 | 11:15 AM

LOS ANGELES: “Happy Birthday to You,” one of the world's most recognisable songs, looks finally set to be free for everyone to sing. US publisher Warner/Chappell Music has agreed to pay $14 million in a settlement that would end its claims to the song's copyright.

Mother turns hostile in Orbit bus case

Mother turns hostile in Orbit bus case

10 Feb 2016 | 1:55 AM

Moga: The mother of a 13-year-old girl who was allegedly molested and died after being thrown off a moving bus belonging to the Punjab Deputy Chief Minister’s transport fleet turned hostile while deposing as the key witness in a trial court here today.

Akalis for Maharaja bust in France, Cong raises questions

Akalis for Maharaja bust in France, Cong raises questions

10 Feb 2016 | 1:55 AM

Patiala: The Punjab government is set to place orders for two statues of legendary Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh — one to be installed in a French tourist town associated with his army general and another at his own ‘birthplace’ in Sangrur.

If agitated, a new jail tailormade for you

If agitated, a new jail tailormade for you

10 Feb 2016 | 11:57 AM

Chandigarh: The Punjab Prisons Department is constructing a jail for lodging protesters, including those involved in political agitations, in the state.


A historic order

TRAI upholds net neutrality, freedom of policy


The GM dilemma

Hybrid mustard reignites the familiar debate

Getting all cranky with age


Death of  liberalism in Bollywood

Death of liberalism in Bollywood

Hasan Suroor

What the industry is experiencing is akin to Hollywood’s McCarthy moment

Will Assange be able to walk free now?

Bharat Desai & Balraj K Sidhu

The resilience of international law has been put to test by the standoff on Julian Assange taking refuge within the Ecuador Embassy in London. It is a violation of human rights of a person of Australian nationality living in London, accused of committing a crime on Swedish soil and faced with extradition proceedings.

more Opinion...
Pak’s ISI funds terror outfits, says Headley

Pak’s ISI funds terror outfits, says Headley

10 Feb 2016 | 10:11 AM

MUMBAI: Terror outfits LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen are given “financial” and “military” support by the ISI, Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley said today as he made fresh revelations, including about an aborted plan to target Indian defence scientists and Siddhivinayak temple here.

CITY FOCUS

3 telecallers held for duping people

3 telecallers held for duping people

10 Feb 2016 | 2:08 AM

CHANDIGARH: With the arrest of three fraudsters, all in their mid-twenties, the Chandigarh Police claim to have busted a gang of telecallers who used to dupe gullible people by calling them up posing as bank executives and seeking information about their ATM cards.

NoAAP’s central observer, Amritsar, Ram Meher Bhati (center) in Amritsar on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Vishal Kumar

Will scrap Amritsar’s BRTS project if voted to power: AAP

10 Feb 2016 | 1:56 AM

AMRITSAR: If voted to power, the Aam Aadmi Party’s first step in the state would be to scrap the BRTS (bus rapid transit system) project currently underway in Amritsar.

No

Capt sharpens attack on AAP

10 Feb 2016 | 1:56 AM

CHANDIGARH: PPCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh today accused AAP leaders of trying to rake up issues that could disturb the hard-earned peace and prosperity of the state.

No

Issued recovery notice, farmer commits suicide

10 Feb 2016 | 1:56 AM

AMRITSAR: A notice from the Debts Recovery Tribunal proved the breaking point in the life of Mangal Singh (60) of Fatehabad Rajputa village.

collapse stories

Jats put off Feb 15 protest

10 Feb 2016 | 12:58 AM

CHANDIGARH/JIND: The Jat community today decided to put off its proposed February 15 ‘rasta roko’ agitation after a meeting with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

12 nabbed for Chamba tree felling

12 nabbed for Chamba tree felling

10 Feb 2016 | 1:08 AM

DHARAMSALA: The Chamba police yesterday arrested 12 employees of the forest corporation and forest department for facilitating large-scale felling of trees in Chamba forest division in 2014.

Fate of PDP-BJP alliance  rests on Budget doles

Fate of PDP-BJP alliance rests on Budget doles

10 Feb 2016 | 12:46 AM

JAMMU:The Sangh Parivar has decided to give more time to the Peoples Democratic Party to take a decision on restitching the alliance with the BJP as their backchannel meetings are yielding encouraging results.

Centre to frame policy for hill states: Kiran Rijiju

10 Feb 2016 | 12:50 AM

MUSSOORIE: Union Minster of State for Home Affairs Kiran Rijiju during a brief visit to New Tehri today said the Union government was working towards formulating a separate policy for the hill states for speedy development.

US Supreme Court blocks Obama carbon emissions plan

US Supreme Court blocks Obama carbon emissions plan

10 Feb 2016 | 10:44 AM

WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered a major blow to President Barack Obama by putting on hold federal regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions mainly from coal-fired power plants, the centerpiece of his administration's strategy to combat climate change.

NoAnmolpreet Singh looks to drive en route his 72-run knock against Sri Lanka in the semifinals in Dhaka on Tuesday. icc

Anmol drives India into final

10 Feb 2016 | 2:05 AM

MIRPUR:The Rahul Dravid-coached India stormed into the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup with a convincing 97-run win over Sri Lanka in the first semifinal at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here on Tuesday.

No

SL avenge Mirpur mauling in Pune

10 Feb 2016 | 2:05 AM

PUNE:Sri Lanka rode on a strong bowling performance to defeat India by five wickets in their first T20I at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Tuesday.

DDCA buys some more time

10 Feb 2016 | 2:05 AM

NEW DELHI:Is the BCCI willing to take the risk of hosting the World T20 matches in Delhi? At the moment, the board has no choice but to wait and watch as the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) on Tuesday assured the Delhi High Court that it will complete work on all 60 objections raised by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) within the next 20 days.

collapse stories
LIFE+STYLE
  • Foreign land, original cut

    Foreign land, original cut

    Over to Vancouver. Even in the most famous wedding shopping destination for South- Asians in North America, a lot was amiss and a lot more misplaced.

  • Star Track
  • Love struck

    Love struck

    On the occasion of International Rose day, Katrina Kaif received a record number of roses from her co-star Aditya Roy Kapur.

  • Gyan Zone
  • Vision beyond sight

    Vision beyond sight

    Life deals the cards and you have to play with what you have! When Oxford graduate Giles Abbott started to lose his vision at 25, he was in grief.

  • more Life+Style...
more Spectrum...

YOUR WORLD AND YOU