India Denies Troops Entered West Philippine Sea Amid Naval Exercises

India denies deploying troops to the West Philippine Sea to counter China, despite a false YouTube video claiming so. Indian Navy ships are participating in a maritime exercise with the Royal Malaysian Navy in the South China Sea.

author-image
Bijay Laxmi
New Update
India Denies Troops Entered West Philippine Sea Amid Naval Exercises

India Denies Troops Entered West Philippine Sea Amid Naval Exercises

A YouTube video with nearly half a million subscribers falsely claimed that Indian soldiers had entered the West Philippine Sea to counter China. However, this claim has been debunked as there are no reports of Indian troops being deployed to the disputed waters.

Why this matters: The denial of Indian troops entering the West Philippine Sea highlights the ongoing tensions and complexities in the South China Sea region, where multiple nations are vying for influence and territorial control. As India strengthens its ties with the Philippines and other nations, its stance on the South China Sea issue could have significant implications for regional stability and global power dynamics.

In reality, three Indian Navy ships - INS Delhi, Shakti, and Kiltan - are currently participating in a maritime partnership exercise with the Royal Malaysian Navy in the locations, south China Sea. The ships docked in Singapore from May 6 to 9 before sailing to Malaysia and the Philippines as part of the Indian Navy's operational deployment in the region.

It is important to note the distinction between the West Philippine Sea and the South China Sea. The West Philippine Sea refers to the part of the South China Sea that is closest to the Philippines, including the country's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone. The South China Sea, on the other hand, is a broader expanse of water bounded by several countries, including China, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Brunei.

The false claim surfaced after India expressed support for the Philippines in upholding its sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea amid China's incursion in the waterway. Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar affirmed India's backing of the Philippines in the South China Sea disputes and acknowledged the validity of the 2016 Hague ruling.

India's stance on the South China Sea issue comes as the country seeks to strengthen ties with the Philippines and counter China's growing influence in the region. The Adani Group, one of India's largest private port operators, plans to develop a port in Bataan province as part of its "String of Pearls Strategy" to bolster maritime trade routes. The company also aims to invest in airports, energy, and defense sectors in the Philippines.

Furthermore, India and the United States are in talks to launch joint development initiatives in the Philippines, which has become an important ally of the US in recent years. The Philippines has been experiencing maritime disputes with China and is looking for new supporters. In January 2022, India and the Philippines signed a $375 million agreement for the BrahMos missile system, showcasing the growing defense cooperation between the two nations.

China's state-run Global Times website emphasized that India is siding with the Philippines in the South China Sea dispute, aiming to put more pressure on China and ultimately joining the "anti-China club." As India experiences its own border tensions with China, the country may abandon its policy of not interfering in the South China Sea issues, signaling the start of a rivalry between the two Asian giants spreading from land to seas.

As the geopolitical dynamics in the South China Sea continue to evolve, India's growing involvement in the region and its support for the Philippines highlight the complex web of alliances and rivalries at play. While Indian soldiers have not directly entered the West Philippine Sea, the country's diplomatic stance and naval presence in the broader South China Sea send a clear message about its strategic interests and commitment to regional stability.

Key Takeaways

  • YouTube video falsely claims Indian soldiers entered West Philippine Sea to counter China.
  • India strengthens ties with Philippines, supporting its sovereign rights in West Philippine Sea.
  • Indian Navy ships participate in maritime exercise with Malaysia and Philippines in South China Sea.
  • India's stance on South China Sea issue aims to counter China's growing influence in the region.
  • India's involvement in Philippines highlights complex web of alliances and rivalries in South China Sea.