Australian Foreign Minister aims for India war game

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by youngindian, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    October 15, 2009

    THE Rudd government is pushing to rebuild its defence ties with India, risking the potential ire of China by formally requesting Australia be allowed to participate in the annual India-US joint naval exercise Malabar.

    Visiting Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said yesterday he had discussed the possibility of Australia rejoining the massive war games exercise during his meeting with his Indian counterpart, S.M. Krishna, this week.

    He also invited India to participate in multilateral Australian Defence Force-hosted exercises Kakadu and Pitch Black.

    "I said it would be a good thing if we joined that, just as we host a couple of multilateral exercises in Australia - Kakadu and Pitch Black. He said he would get back to us on that," Mr Smith told The Australian in New Delhi yesterday.

    "We would like to see a memorandum of understanding to institutionalise the defence contact we have."

    Mr Smith said that while Australia enjoyed a good defence, security and counter-terrorism relationship with India, the Rudd government was keen to enhance that. The Royal Australian Navy did send several frigates to the Malabar 2007 exercises, which that year also involved Singapore and Japan.

    But analysts say the Australian government was concerned its participation in an exercise obviously intended by the US to be a foil to China's strategic military might could offend one of our largest trading partners.

    The push to rejoin the Malabar exercises comes in the wake of the Rudd government's controversial defence white paper, which called for a build-up of naval capacity and appeared to suggest Australian defence strategy in coming decades would be shaped by China's military expansion.

    Australian Strategic Policy Institute defence analyst Raspal Khosa said while rejoining Malabar was a sensitive issue, "we also want to develop and expand our military relationship with the Indians".

    However "the sticking point from the Indian perspective will be uranium".

    "They look to us to provide them with commodities and energy and uranium is really at the front of their minds when they do engage with Australia," Mr Khosa said.

    "They want an assured supply and they will use that certainly as leverage on things like allowing us to participate in the Malabar exercise."

    Australia's defence relationship with India suffered after India's 1998 nuclear weapons tests, which drew loud criticism from the Howard government.

    Australia withdrew its defence attaches from both Pakistan and India.

    The relationship was also damaged by an incident in the Indian Ocean in which an Australian Orion aircraft in 1997 buzzed INS Delhi, the pride of India's naval fleet, as it headed into Southeast Asian waters.

    The push to mend defence fences with India comes as the federal government also attempts to repair damage to the Indian-Australian relationship caused by a series of attacks on Indian students in Australia.

    Mr Smith said yesterday that while the attacks had not hurt the bilateral relationship, Australia's reputation had been damaged among sections of the Indian public and the government was looking at ways to repair that damage.

    Australia had neglected its relationship with India in the past, treating it as a "Twenty20 game, not a Test match", but it could no longer afford to be complacent.

    "There have been bursts of enthusiasm when what has been required is ongoing engagement, persistence and perseverance," Mr Smith said.

    "The Prime Minister and I have said repeatedly that we see this very much as the century where economic and political and strategic influences are moving to the Asia-Pacific.

    "Everyone sees the rise of China but not enough people have seen the rise of India", which was about to take a role of global prominence.

    Stephen Smith aims for India war game | The Australian
     
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  3. amitkriit

    amitkriit Senior Member Senior Member

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    Australian has already lost its apeal amongst Indian masses by repeatedly acting against the interests of India and aligning itself with China. Most recent example will be Australia voting with China in ADB on Arunachal issue.
     
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  4. fateh71

    fateh71 Regular Member

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    Australia has been aligning itself with China's interests after 2007. They have either lost the will or think USA is the wrong horse to bet on.

    The latest white paper by the Australians may be an indication that they have started realising the dangers of being eaten by the dragon, but we have to wait and watch. Their leftist govt has shown less spine than rubberman.
     
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  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    japan had propsed an alliance of USA-India-Australia and Japan, After one naval exercise Australia became the first one to drop out of the alliance, India has conducted naval exercises with USA afterwards but the alliance has not come to fruition. Australia also opposed selling uranium to India from the start of the nuke deal, today Asutralia sells to China but not India. What can Australia offer to India as a strategic partner other than nuclear fuel? They have a small population and they are always cautious about upsetting China in most issues. The last issue Australia was opposed to India was in the ADB loan.
     
  6. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Slowly but surely Australians are realizing that its India which will be a reliable partner in Long term. Also they feel that they are left out in Indian Nuclear market . This will be loss worth Millions and they cannot afford to do so as their economy is not in very good shape.
    Everybody worships Rising Sun and Australians are also doing same.
     
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