Two Indian Navy warships docked at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port on Tuesday to begin a five-day goodwill visit that will include joint training exercises with the Royal Cambodian Navy, while a pop-up medical camp will provide healthcare to local communities, Indian Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik said Wednesday.
The INS Ranvir and INS Kamorta—a guided missile destroyer and an anti-submarine corvette, respectively—sailed into Cambodian waters as part of a two-monthlong deployment in the South China Sea.
“The ships will participate in a joint exercise with the Royal Cambodian Navy…for enhancing interoperability in Maritime Operations, including Search and Rescue,” a statement released by the Indian Embassy in Phnom Penh says.
India’s “Act East” policy has brought an increasing number of trade deals to Asean and made the South China Sea a valuable trade corridor for the country.
A close relationship with Vietnam—one of five nations in dispute with China over maritime territory—has brought India into the fray.
But the ambassador, speaking from Sihanoukville, said the naval visit was unrelated.
“We do this regularly. Essentially, our countries need to know what is happening with each other; we do it every year.”