US, Regional Allies Conduct Military Exercises in Indonesia Amid China’s ‘Destabilizing Actions’

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The United States conducted a live-fire drill with Indonesia and allies connected Friday arsenic portion of yearly associated subject exercises to beforehand determination practice amid China’s “destabilizing actions” astir Taiwan.

The yearly Super Garuda Shield workout is being conducted connected the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan from Aug. 1 to 14.

More than 5,000 troops from the U.S., Indonesia, Australia, Japan, and Singapore are participating successful this year’s associated combat exercises, making them “significantly larger successful scope and standard than erstwhile exercises,” according to the U.S. Embassy and Consulates successful Indonesia.

.@USARPAC and @AustralianArmy Soldiers enactment successful a associated grooming rehearsal arsenic portion of #SuperGarudaShield22 successful Baturaja, 🇮🇩. 🇺🇸–🇦🇺 #FreeAndOpenIndoPacific

📸: Spc. Andrew Mendoza pic.twitter.com/zJP30cotdk

— U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (@INDOPACOM) August 12, 2022

Over 200 paratroopers from the U.S., Indonesia, and Japan conducted trilateral airborne operations with the U.S. 36th Airlift Squadron for the Super Garuda Shield exercises connected Aug. 3.

Canada, France, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, and the United Kingdom volition articulation arsenic perceiver nations. Washington has said that the drill was not aimed astatine immoderate nation.

Admiral John C. Aquilino, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander, said the 14 nations progressive successful the grooming are signaling stronger ties to execute stableness successful the Indo-Pacific portion and are prepared “to respond to immoderate contingency.”

“The destabilizing actions by the People’s Republic of China arsenic it applied to the threatening activities and actions against Taiwan is precisely what we are trying to avoid,” Aquilino said astatine a property conference.

The expanded drills were held against the backdrop of China’s subject threat against Taiwan pursuing U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s sojourn to the self-ruled land past week. China views Taiwan arsenic a renegade state that indispensable beryllium reunited with the mainland.

Indonesia’s Security Concerns

Beijing has besides accrued subject beingness successful the South China Sea, wherever it claims a ample information of the waters nether its alleged “nine-dash line.” The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam, each person competing claims against China.

While Indonesia and China bask mostly affirmative ties, Jakarta has expressed interest astir what it sees arsenic Chinese encroachment successful its exclusive economical portion successful the South China Sea.

Despite its authoritative presumption arsenic a non-claimant authorities successful the South China Sea, Indonesia has been “dragged along” successful the territorial quality since 2010 aft China claimed portion of Indonesia’s exclusive economical portion successful the Natuna Islands, according to Connie Rahakundini Bakrie, a information expert astatine the University of Indonesia.

Bakrie said that Indonesia sees the existent exercises with the U.S. arsenic a deterrent successful defence of the Natuna Islands, portion for Washington, the drills are portion of efforts to forge a agreed beforehand against China’s subject buildup successful the South China Sea.

“Indonesia wants to nonstop the connection that it is afloat prepared for immoderate high-intensity struggle successful the South China Sea area,” Bakrie said.

Indonesia deployed 7 Black Hawk helicopters, 41 armored vehicles, and 618 weapons for this year’s Super Garuda Shield exercise, according to Indonesian subject main Gen. Andika Perkasa.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Aldgra Fredly

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Aldgra Fredly is simply a freelance writer based successful Malaysia, covering Asia Pacific quality for The Epoch Times.