Asia-Pacific navies to hold joint drill in S. China Sea
JAKARTA - The navies of the 10-member ASEAN and eight other countries, including the United States, Japan, China, Russia, India, will participate in a joint exercise in Indonesian waters of the South China Sea next year, the Indonesian Navy announced Thursday.
It said "Komodo Multilateral Exercise 2014," aimed partly at countering maritime threats, will take place in April 2014 in the waters off the Natuna and Anambas archipelagos, located between the Malaysian Peninsula and the island of Borneo.
Both Natuna and Anambas are located in the South China Sea where territorial disputes between several ASEAN members and China have escalated in the past.
The statement added that the exercise, which will also include the navies of South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, will also focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Host Indonesia will deploy 12 warships during the exercise, it said.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.