Australia Says India at The Heart of Its Approach to Indo-Pacific
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Richard Marles has said that his ongoing visit to India reflects the conviction and the commitment by the new Anthony Albanese government to place India “at the heart of Australia’s approach” to the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
Marles is the first high-ranking official from Australia to land in New Delhi after Albanese was sworn in as Prime Minister of the country, last month.
Hours after assuming office on May 23, Albanese had flown to Japan to attend the Quad Leaders’ Summit where he also held detailed talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on shared priorities in the Indo-Pacific region and further strengthening of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries.
While he maintained that it would be wrong to assume that China is at the center of every decision being made to deeper Australian-Indian security cooperation, Marles acknowledged that Beijing’s military build-up is now “the largest and most ambitious” seen by any country since the end of the Second World War.
Stating that insecurity is what drives an arms race, the Australian minister said that it is critical that China’s neighbors do not see this build-up as a risk for them.”
He added, “India’s own experience illustrates this maxim more than most. The assault on Indian forces along the Line of Actual Control in 2020 was a warning we should all heed. Australia stood up for India’s sovereignty then and continues to do so now. It is vital that China commits to resolving this dispute through a process of dialogue consistent with international law. The global rules-based order matters everywhere, including in the highest place on earth.”