Call for Australia, US security pact with India
Australia and the United States should form a three-way security dialogue with India, in part to help counter any naval aggression from China, a paper released yesterday said.
Produced by three think-tanks -- Australia's well-respected Lowy Institute, India's independent Observer Research Foundation and the conservative Heritage Foundation in the US -- the report calls for greater engagement with New Delhi, including in counter-terrorism.
"This paper provides ideas for establishing US-Australia-India dialogue and coordination across a host of economic, political, and security issues," the document said.
"In time, these might include surveillance, maritime expeditionary operations, anti-submarine warfare and perhaps even integration of theatre missile defence."
The paper -- entitled "Shared Goals, Converging Interests: A Plan for US-Australia-India Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific" -- notes that India "does not yet treat Australia as a priority security partner".
Canberra and New Delhi signed a joint declaration on security co-operation in 2009, but the paper said that since then the tempo of military exercises had been slow.
It noted a series of incidents of Chinese "harassment" of other countries since 2009, especially in the South China Sea, adding that Sino-Indian competition at sea was likely to intensify.