The invitation to Australia for the annual maritime exercise MALABAR may stumble China’s uplift
Australia’s participation in the MALABAR exercise along with the US and Japan has been taken with distaste from China. It stands firm against the step and is fearful of the genesis of an ‘Asian NATO’.
In 2007, India had invited Japan, Singapore, and Australia to join the bilateral maritime exercise with the United States. A five-nation Naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal curtailed the overall costs of the conduction of exercise. But this time in 2020, this decision came out as an irritant to China.
The disputed Himalayan border and the Galwan Valley clash, which left 20 soldiers dead India is trying its best to strengthen its relationship with other Asia-Pacific countries. On the other hand, Japan and the United States have already been invited for joining the exercise.
In 2014, with the arrival of the NDA government, India-US defense cooperation gained a new height. Similarly, the participation of Japan in 2015 improved India’s naval diplomacy.
Currently, China’s Navy holds a strong grip over the Indian ocean and has the acquisition of its first military base in Djibouti(AFRICA). There is also a projection of Iran providing a helping hand for the development of China’s port facilities at Hormuz Strait in the Gulf. On a whole, it has become more forceful on the Greater Himalayas and the Indian ocean.
The consideration of Australia for the exercise could come out as one of the vital decisions for India’s security and pacification of China’s aggression.