Unlike the European colonial powers, which could easily prevail over natives of the strategic island territories, today’s major powers have to deal with the more complex domestic politics of the island nations.
New Delhi, Canberra, and Wellington did not appreciate China’s aspirations to become a great global power and thus did not assess the strategic consequences for their own respective regions.
It’s time for India, France, and Australia to join forces. This innovative security triangle is no flight of think tank fancy, but an ambition now being considered at the highest levels of policy.
India’s issue with quadrilateral cooperation among India, Japan, Australia and the United States is no longer about the principle. New Delhi will sit down with anyone in any kind of forum if that serves India’s national interest.
India’s engagements in the emerging Indo-Pacific security architecture should be reexamined to reflect new regional realities.
One way of lending substance to the Indo-Pacific cooperation between India and Australia is to identify specific subregions for practical cooperation, such as the Bay of Bengal.
Sharing facilities and information can vastly improve the naval reach of India and Australia as well as contribute to the construction of a stable maritime order in the Bay of Bengal and the eastern Indian Ocean.
New coalitions like India, Japan and Australia will still lack sufficient weight to balance China on their own. But in developing an agency of its own and taking a larger share of the burden of Asian security, the India-Japan-Australia coalition will send strong messages to both China and the United States.
Through his visit across the eastern seas, Modi affirmed that India under the NDA government has entered a new era of economic development, industrialization, and trade.
Modi’s decision to visit Fiji underlines the new commitment in New Delhi to bridging the gap between the potential and reality of Delhi’s reach in the Indo-Pacific.