Australia vows to deepen defence ties with India, increase engagement in Indian Ocean


Australia has said that it will work towards forging deeper defence ties with India and focus on the strategic Indian Ocean, where China is “rapidly” expanding its footprints.

Addressing the Western Australian Indo-Pacific Conference in Perth on Monday, Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said, “The Indian Ocean has not always received the same level of attention in our strategic thinking as the Pacific Ocean. Australia has tended to see itself as a Pacific Ocean state.”

Like the Pacific, the Indian Ocean was increasingly characterised by “rising strategic competition” and “intensifying great power rivalries”, she said.

The minister said there is a proliferation of naval activity and a race to secure access to strategic ports right across the Indian Ocean rim, which afford both economic and strategic advantage. Read more

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