Thursday, December 7, 2023

China looming large, India & Australia crank up defence partnership

NEW DELHI: India and Australia held the second version of their two-plus-two ministerial dialogue with international minister S Jaishankar and defence minister Rajnath Singh discussing methods with their counterparts, Penny Wong and Richard Marles, respectively, to strengthen defence and safety partnership, enhance commerce and funding ties and to reinforce Indo-Pacific cooperation amid Chinese language assertiveness.
With China’s expansionist muscle-flexing within the Indo-Pacific figuring on their radars, the 2 international locations determined to additional crank up their total bilateral defence-strategic ties, together with cooperation in info alternate, maritime area consciousness and area of interest areas like AI, cyber, anti-submarine and anti-drone warfare.
Australian deputy PM and defence minister Richard Marles pressured that China was “the most important safety nervousness” for each India and his nation, whereas additionally being their largest buying and selling accomplice.
Sources stated India additionally shared its deep issues about China’s salami-slicing techniques on its land borders in addition to increasing naval forays into the Indian Ocean Area (IOR), whilst Beijing additionally strong-arms its smaller neighbours within the South China and East China Seas in addition to the Taiwan Strait.
Singh, on his half, stated there may be “consensus” that “a robust India-Australia partnership augurs properly for the general peace, safety and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific area”.
India and Australia in recent times have been steadily stepping-up their bilateral defence ties, junking inhibitions of the previous to duplicate New Delhi’s upward trajectory for lengthy with the opposite two Quad international locations, the US and Japan.
“It’s exhausting to overstate how vital we regard India and our relationship with India in a troublesome world, significantly within the IOR… We’re neighbours. We’ve a deep strategic alignment. However extra importantly, we’ve shared traditions of democracy, the rule of regulation, freedom of speech and heritage, together with cricket,” Marles stated.

“We see the defence relationship as important to the bilateral partnership. We see our relationship with India proper up there, amongst some of the vital relationships that we’ve on the planet,” he added.
Whereas emphasising that the armed forces of the 2 international locations ought to improve cooperation in area of interest coaching areas like AI, cyber, anti-submarine and anti-drone warfare, Singh stated shipbuilding, ship restore and plane MRO (upkeep, restore and overhaul) is also potential areas of collaboration.
“Australia operates frequent platforms like P-8 maritime patrol plane and MH-60 ‘Romeo’ helicopters. Australian warships transiting the IOR may also avail MRO amenities in India,” the official stated.

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India and Australia have already got a mutual logistics assist association (MLSA), which was inked in June 2020 and gives for refuelling and berthing amenities for one another’s warships and plane. India has such reciprocal navy logistics pacts with the US and Japan in addition to different international locations like France, South Korea and Singapore.
On Monday, the 2 ministers agreed that deepening cooperation in defence business and analysis would additionally give a fillip to the already robust relationship, whereas additionally they mentioned cooperation for joint analysis in underwater applied sciences.

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