While the world is focusing on COVID-19, there are fears China is using systematic aggression and assertion to test global patience. But India is looking to counter back agains the Communist nation.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have agreed to expand their strategic partnership in the highly contest region.
Philippine Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana said: “We do not prevent other countries from passing through or doing things there in the South China Sea.
“The British do pass through the South China Sea.
“The French, all other countries. We do not invite them to come.”
Relations between China and India have become increasingly strained following border disputes in Galwan Valley, Ladakh.
Following a bloody conflict, 20 Indian soldiers were killed and at least 35 Chinese soldiers died.
This marked the first bloody altercation between the nations in 45 years with talks held over the years to try and resolve the ongoing disputes.
Protests erupted across India as people burnt Chinese products and images of President Xi Jinping.
READ MORE: China pulls back from disputed border but ‘yes new contested area’
Following the bloody conflicts between the two sides, Mr Modi had been urged to retaliate against the Communist nation.
Now, it appears New Delhi is making a stand against Beijing as India plans to carry out navigation activities in the contested waters.
The South China Sea is a highly disputed territory and faces rival ownerships claims from China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Diplomatic relations between the nations are already extremely strained with Beijing constructing bunkers on some of the atolls.
The six nations claiming ownership of the region are not the only presence there.
The US has conducted training exercises in the area with three submarines joining ships and aircraft in the nearby Philippine Sea.
The actions are thought to be a reaction to Chinese harassment of ships drilling for resources in nearby waters.
The US Air Force and Marines were also seen conducting training exercises in the area with three submarines joining ships and aircraft in the nearby Philippine Sea.
The actions were thought to be a reaction to Chinese harassment of ships drilling for resources in nearby waters.
China is believed to be rapidly increasing its preparations to defend the region should it perceive the US to overstretch its interventions in the region.