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International relations

US carrier conducts drills with India near key chokepoint Malacca

Sino-American tensions extend to Indian Ocean from South China Sea

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group steams in formation alongside Indian Navy ships during a cooperative deployment in the Indian Ocean on July 20. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

NEW YORK -- As tensions between the U.S. and China rise in the South China Sea, military and diplomatic hostilities look to spill over to the Indian Ocean.

Just days after concluding operations in the closely watched region of the South China Sea, one of the U.S. Navy's largest ship formations, the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, has commenced joint exercises with defense partner India near another important maritime region: the Strait of Malacca, a narrow sea lane between Malaysia and Indonesia that is considered one of the world's most critical chokepoints. Much of China's maritime trade with Europe and its imported oil passes through the strait.

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