Australia may seek revival of India-US-Japan Malabar Joint Naval Exercise – More problems for China

As Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull comes calling to India, the revival of quadrilateral naval drills in the Indian Ocean Region comprising India, the US, Japan and Australia is likely to come up for discussion. Australia had pulled out of the naval war games in the face of sharp reaction from China.

The previous US government under President Barack Obama has been particular in exhorting the four powers in the Asia-Pacific region to come together in a bid to counter-balance an assertive China. The initiative is seen as a messaging move by participating countries seeking to safeguard their maritime interests in the region.

“The issue might come up for discussion,” a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official admitted on condition of anonymity. Australia had participated in the four-nation military drills in 2007, however, the former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd reportedly backed out of the exercises in 2008 due to Chinese pressure. In 2007, Beijing had issued a demarche to all the participating countries, seeking to know against whom the exercises were aimed at. Read More…


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