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Australia looks at greater India engagement to balance China

25 Nov 2017 | Written by NewsBytes Staff; Edited by Anupama Vijayakumar

Australia said it will strengthen ties with India, Japan, and the US in the Indo-Pacific region under the quadrilateral dialogue between the four countries.

The policy was laid down in the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper released by PM Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday.

This comes days after the quadrilateral, aimed at countering China's increasing regional presence, met on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit.

In context: Australia unveils Foreign Policy White Paper

13 Nov 2017Controlling the Indo-Pacific: India, US, Japan Australia resurrect quadrilateral dialogue

On November 13, diplomats representing the US, Japan, Australia, and India held a landmark quadrilateral dialogue on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Manila, Philippines.

The dialogue was aimed at bolstering their influence over the Indo-Pacific region against China's expanding presence.

The dialogue has been termed the first official meeting on the Indo-Pacific. More such meetings are expected to follow.

25 Nov 2017Australia looks at greater India engagement to balance China

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Criticizes ChinaAustralian White Paper is critical of China's territorial disputes

"The United States has been the dominant power in our region throughout Australia's post-World War II history. Today, China is challenging America's position," the white paper says.

"Australia is particularly concerned by the unprecedented pace and scale of China's activities," it adds.

"Australia opposes the use of disputed features and artificial structures in the South China Sea for military purposes."

DetailsConcerns about China push Australia towards quadrilateral

China's growing military ambitions have prompted a concerned Australia to link up with countries which "share our interests and commitment to rules-based institutions."

Australia would particularly look to boost its partnerships with Asian democracies, namely India and Japan.

It continues to rely on the US, its biggest military ally, as a security guarantor in the Indo-Pacific.

StatementTurnbull justifies revival of quadrilateral

While releasing the white paper, Turnbull noted: "This is the first time in our history that our dominant trading partner is not also our dominant security partner."

China has come to dominate a large presence in Australia's economy and society.

Turnbull reiterated that his government is actively seeking revival of the Australia-India-US-Japan quadrilateral in keeping with the dialogue during the ASEAN summit's sidelines.