News: The Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister of Australia is going to make a visit to Japan and India.
(1) Both have a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which is full of practical, and tangible actions.
(2) Both hold annual leaders’ summits and biennial 2+2 talks involving foreign and defence ministers.
(3) Indian and Australian defence forces undertake more complex activities together. For example, Exercise Malabar, Indian military officials also observed the Australian Exercise Talisman Sabre.
(4) Both countries coordinate closely on maritime domain awareness. For example, deployment of P-8 surveillance aircraft to each other’s territories for joint patrols.
Convergence of Interests
(1) The Indo-Pacific region is facing a lot of issues, ranging from the highly intensified strategic and geo-economic competition in the region.
(2) The world is facing the problem of the return of war to Europe, growing climate risks, and enduring pandemic impacts. As a result, the world is facing the problems of inflation and supply chain shocks.
(3) Both countries share common values and interests. For example, both countries are committed to democracy, the drive and the goodwill to make the Indo-Pacific region safer, freer and better.
(4) India’s economy, manufacturing capabilities, and talent ensure that it can play a key role in securing supply chains and restarting post-pandemic growth.
(5) India’s military has the capacity and capability to respond to natural disasters, help stabilize an uncertain region and contribute to an effective balance of power.
(6) India’s technological and scientific capabilities are gateways to a cleaner and more sustainable world.
(7) The Australian government is focused on making Australia a renewable energy superpower. In this context, India can emerge as a clean technology manufacturing powerhouse which will benefit both.
(8) Both India and Australia have great potential to cooperate on the issues of climate and sustainability.
(9) Both have vital interests in the Indian and Pacific oceans like combating climate change, illegal fishing and people smuggling and responding to humanitarian crises and natural disasters.
The Way Forward
The new Australian government places India at the heart of Australia’s approach to the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
The Australia government has adopted the India Economic Strategy to 2035. It aims to set up a Consulate-General in Bengaluru in 2023, a joint Australia-India Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy in Bengaluru and a Centre for India-Australia Relations in Australia to propel and strengthen the community, institutional and business ties.
Australia has a vision for an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific region. This implies a more integrated region, where trade and investment flow freely based on agreed rules and treaty commitments.
The rules-based international order must be followed and disputes are resolved through dialogue in accordance with international law.
Both countries must work together with resolve to shape our economic and strategic environment aimed to ensure collective security and prosperity.
Source: The post is based on the article “India and Australia: Partners with shared interests and entwined destinies” published in the Indian Express on 22nd June 2022.