China’s drive for hegemony meets resistance

Jun 14, 2020 by

Diplomatic failure in the Indo-Pacific

It’s an odd sort of great power rivalry: China and the US competing to see which can alienate more of their potential partners and allies. In the Indo-Pacific, recent diplomatic and economic developments indicate that China is starting to “win” this contest.

On June 4, India and Australia announced a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” a “Shared Vision for Maritime Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific” and a “Mutual Logistics Support Agreemen” to increase their military inter-operability. They didn’t need to explain why.

This raises the possibility of Australia rejoining the annual Malabar naval exercises which for the past six years have been held by India, the US and Japan. Australia last participated in 2007.

If Australia does rejoin, that would add a military aspect to the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue initiated by Japanese Prime Minister Abe in 2007 – even if Australian diplomats continue to maintain that “the Quad” is simply a consultation mechanism.

Earlier this year, Australia’s outgoing high commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu, said that, if there’s an invitation to rejoin the Malabar exercises, “Australia will happily participate.”

Source: China’s drive for hegemony meets resistance – Asia Times

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