Indian Navy's Eastern Fleet Ships Dock in Manila for Maritime Exercise, All You Need To Know
Indian Navy's Eastern Fleet Ships Dock in Manila for Maritime Exercise, All You Need To Know

Indian Navy Ships Join Forces with Philippine Navy in Manila - Indian Navy ships INS Delhi, INS Shakti, and INS Kiltan have arrived in Manila, Philippines, to bolster the friendship and maritime cooperation between India and the Philippines.

This visit is part of the Indian Navy's Eastern Fleet's deployment to the South China Sea. During their stay, sailors from both navies will engage in professional exchanges, including Subject Matter Expert Exchange (SMEE) sessions, sports events, cross-deck visits, cultural activities, and community outreach programs.

The visit will also feature a Maritime Partnership Exercise (MPX) with the Philippine Navy, aimed at enhancing cooperation and coordination between the two forces.

The backdrop of this visit includes rising tensions between China and the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal. This area, about 220 kilometers off the Philippine coast, lies within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and is a traditional fishing ground near key shipping routes. Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), an EEZ extends approximately 370 kilometers from a country's shoreline.

China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, dismissing the claims of other nations, including the Philippines, and ignoring an international ruling that found its claims to have no legal basis. Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam also have claims in the region.

India and the Philippines established diplomatic relations in November 1949, soon after both nations gained independence. The relationship has been friendly and cooperative, with regular visits by Indian Navy and Coast Guard ships to the Philippines. Both countries also participate in specialized training courses and exchange visits by National Defence College delegations, reflecting deepening defense ties.

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