India's decision to participate in upcoming exercises at the U.S. Marine Corps base at Okinawa, Japan, is a clear signal that New Delhi will not go out of its way to please Beijing, a defense analyst here said.
Analyst Nitin Mehta said the move also proves that India is taking seriously the prospect of a future threat from China.
About 14 senior Indian Army and Navy officers will take part in the Habu Nag exercise, which will begin by the end of the month and continue until mid-October.
More joint Indian-U.S. military exercises are planned in the future, including one in Alaska next month and a special forces exercise in India.
Exercise Habu Nag, held annually since 2006, is a bilateral tabletop exercise that focuses on operating skills based on exercise scenarios, to test the theoretical ability of Indian and U.S. forces to jointly respond to specific situations.
Last year, when the exercise took place at another U.S. base closer to China, India opted not to participate.
The joint exercise coincides with Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony's Sept. 26-27 visit to Washington.