‘China is the biggest security anxiety for India and Australia’
Defence and Foreign Ministers of India and Australia held meetings as a part of the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in New Delhi on Monday. China is both India’s and Australia’s major commercial partner but also raises the level of security.
What is the overview of the Indo-Australia relations?
- Australia and India have a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP). The alliance is built on mutual trust and understanding, as well as a common goal for a thriving, open, and stable Indo-Pacific region.
- India and Australia have various linkages, including political, economic, security, linguistic, sporting, democracy, pluralism, free press, and an independent judicial system.
- Coal, copper, gold, mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, pearls, precious stones, metals, and coins are among Australia’s key exports to India.
What is the historical background behind the Indo-Australian relation?
- India and Australia have had commercial links since the 18th century, when India played an important role in supporting the nascent Australian colony.
- The East India Company operated in Bengal and had trading connections with Australia.
- The Consulate General of India in Sydney was created in 1941, while the High Commission in Canberra was formed in 1945.
What are the treaties and groupings that India and Australia are part of?
- Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) between Australia and India: The agreement took effect on December 29, 2022. It opens up fresh market access for Australian enterprises and consumers.
- The Double Taxation Agreement (DTAA): Australia signed this agreement on December 30, 1991. It is applicable to all sorts of personal and business income.
- CECA stands for Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement: Negotiations for this agreement, which will build on the outcomes of the AI-ECTA, have resumed.
- The groupings India & Australia are part of:
- Commonwealth of Nations
- 2+2 relations
What are the areas covered in the 2+2 ministerial meeting between India and Australia?
- China’s Role:
- Both Australia and India regard China as their most important commercial partner.
- Despite economic links, there is a widespread impression of China as a serious security threat, reflecting a complicated relationship with its biggest trading partner.
- The Importance of the Partnership:
- The importance of the Australia-India alliance was stressed by Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, not only for the two countries individually but also for the Indo-Pacific region as a whole.
- Regional Implications:
- According to Jaishankar, the growing alliance has broader implications for regional stability and security. Other countries in the region see this alliance as a source of stability.
- Shared values and Alignment:
- Marles emphasized the two countries’ common values, which include a shared history, democratic traditions, and a dedication to the rule of law and freedom.
How can the relations between these two countries counter the Chinese influence in the region?
- Economic Cooperation: By strengthening economic relations between Australia and India, a more solid economic bloc in the region can be formed, providing an alternative to relying heavily on Chinese trade. This can minimize both countries’ vulnerability to economic coercion and strengthen their economic resilience.
- Strategic Collaboration: Australia and India’s strategic alignment may result in collaborative efforts to ensure regional security. Defense collaboration, intelligence sharing, and joint military exercises can serve as a deterrence and contribute to regional security.
- Forums Multilateral: Both countries can collaborate within existing regional forums (such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue with the US and Japan) or create new ones to promote shared values, security, and economic interests. These forums can be used for diplomatic coordination and policy alignment in the face of forceful regional influence.
- Infrastructure Improvement: Collaborative infrastructure initiatives between Australia and India can provide alternatives to Chinese-funded projects, assisting regional countries in avoiding over-dependence on China. This could be part of a larger effort to encourage long-term development.
- Diplomatic Efforts: Coordinated diplomatic initiatives can be launched to interact with other Indo-Pacific nations. Building alliances to address similar concerns, such as maritime security, and strengthening the rule of law and the international norms