Quad against China: how the US is creating a new alliance against Beijing
The United States has conducted military exercises in China's sore spot
November 17, 2020, Indian Ocean. The American aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, a combat ship capable of carrying 90 planes and helicopters, puts to sea. It's joined by the Indian aircraft carrier Vikramaditya (built at Mykolaiv in Soviet times). They are accompanied by destroyers, frigates, submarines, and support ships. There are representatives of four countries: Americans, Indians, Australians, and Japanese.
The military flotilla gathered for the "Malabar 2020" naval exercises. For eight days (November 3-6 and 17-20) the ships' crews practiced defense against air raids and submarines, learned to maneuver together, fired at targets, and used combat aircraft. But it wasn't the most interesting thing about it.
At least because the company of participants isn't accidental. Back in 2007, the United States, India, Australia, and Japan launched the so-called Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (aka QSD or the Quad). Then they planned the coalition to fight terrorism, and now it has become relevant to countries again.
Obviously, they didn't just choose the place for no reason. The maneuvers take place off the coast of Bengal, near the Straits of Malacca. It's no less important for the region than the Bosphorus or Gibraltar for Europe. Through this "gap" between Indonesia and Malaysia is a sea route through which China receives 80% of oil supplies. If a conflict breaks out in the region, blocking the strait is enough for Beijing's enemies; the Chinese will have to bypass, and it's expensive and difficult.