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 Indian Naval Ship Shivalik mission deployed to the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean, departed for Japan, and is scheduled to participate in Japan India Maritime Exercise (JIMEX) 24 and Exercise Rim of Pacific (RIMPAC-24).

The ship departed from Singapore on May 30 for onward passage to Yokosuka, Japan, the Ministry of Defence said in a press release. This deployment aims to enhance interoperability with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), US Navy and other partner navies participating in RIMPAC 24.

During the ship’s OTR at Singapore, various activities were undertaken which included a Call on with the Base Commander, Changi Naval Base, Wreath Laying at Kranji War Memorial, Call on with High Commissioner of India to Singapore, an IFC visit, a Visit around 80 school children onboard, Visit of Indian and Australian High Commissioner onboard and cross-deck visits to USS Mobile (LCS) reflecting maritime relations and shared values between the navies which is primarily under the ambit of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR),

On May 23, Indian Navy ships INS Delhi, INS Shakti and INS Kiltan completed their visit to Manila, Philippines as part of the Operational Deployment of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet to the South China Sea.

Tensions between China and the Philippines have escalated over the Scarborough Shoal as Manila has taken a more assertive approach in disputed areas.

Approximately 220 kilometres off the coast of the Philippines and within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the shoal is a traditional fishing ground used by multiple nations and located close to important shipping channels.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), an EEZ extends about 370 km from a country’s coast.

China has claimed almost the entire South China Sea rejecting claims from other nations, including the Philippines, and an international ruling that states that these claims have no legal basis, according to an Al Jazeera report. Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam also claim the parts of the sea.

India and the Philippines formally established diplomatic relations in November 1949, shortly after both countries gained independence.

The relations between the two countries have been cordial and muted.

Indian Navy and Coast Guard ships regularly visit the Philippines. The participation of officers of the armed forces of both countries in various specialized training courses in each other’s countries has intensified as have visits by National Defence College delegations.