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FICCI Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Interactive Seminar on Investment in Australia. India-Australia Strategic Relations: Potentials and Challenges Dr.W.Lawrence Prabhakar Founding Member, Centre for Security Analysis, Chennai

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FICCIFederation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and IndustryInteractive Seminar on Investment in Australia

India-Australia Strategic Relations:

Potentials and Challenges

Dr.W.Lawrence Prabhakar

Founding Member, Centre for Security Analysis, Chennai

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science,

Madras Christian College,

Chennai, India

format of presentation
Format of Presentation
  • Essence of Strategic Engagement
  • Significance of India-Australia Strategic Engagement
  • Substance of India-Australia Strategic Engagement
  • India-Australia Strategic Convergences: Potential and Challenges
  • Assessment
essence of strategic engagement
Essence of Strategic Engagement
  • Strategic Engagement is the comprehensive convergence of bilateral relations in political- diplomatic, economic-commercial, scientific-technical-educational; and military-to-military partnerships forged-- based on consensus with a view to promote deeper relations;
  • Strategic engagement opens possibilities and avenues of cooperation, convergence for collective endeavours based on mutual benefit;
  • Strategic engagement promotes a functional basis of bilateral cooperation;
  • Strategic engagement is based on an eclectic blend of defensive realism and neo-realism that combines the essence of power and cooperation;
essence of strategic engagement1
Essence of Strategic Engagement

Substance of Engagement

  • Strategic Visions--Comparative Strategic perspectives;
  • Values and Norms—Democracy, Free markets etc;
  • Frameworks of Relations--Cooperative security and Convergent security;
  • Issues and Perspectives—Political, Economic, Commercial, Trade and Strategic dimensions.
significance of india australia strategic engagement
Significance of India-Australia Strategic Engagement
  • From earlier ‘estrangement’ to emergent ‘engagement’ based on issues of globalization, and India’s rise;
  • ‘Concert of Democracies’ proposition ‘US-Japan-India-Australia’;
  • Convergence over terrorism and counterterrorism cooperation
  • India’s expanding Diaspora in Australia and its contribution to Australian economy;
significance of india australia strategic engagement1
Significance of India-Australia Strategic Engagement
  • India and Australia are thriving democracies with vital interests to promote and preserve the democratic essence of political, civic and vast economic potential in respective countries—’Democratic Peace’;
  • India and Australia have shared consensus on the scope and stakes of globalization;
  • India and Australia have a common ‘federal structure of polity’ that addresses constitutional and foreign policy issues
significance of india australia strategic engagement2
Significance of India-Australia Strategic Engagement

Convergence between India and Australia emerges from the following issues of global and regional concern:

  • The rise of China, and the reshaping of Asia;
  • the future role of the United States in Asia and the emerging balance of power;
  • The importance of Southeast Asia-- specially Indonesia;
  • India’s interests in the Pacific—Fiji--Australia’s reciprocity ;
  • Intelligence cooperation and capacity building responses to transnational terrorism and criminal networks;
  • Naval cooperation between RAN and IN
  • Regional Maritime Domain Partnership convergent with IONS (Indian Ocean Naval Symposium) coordinating with Southeast Asian states;
  • Maritime Intelligence sharing and naval exercises with RAN ships in bilateral patterns;
substance of india australia strategic engagement
Substance of India-Australia Strategic Engagement

Integrated Ocean management policy in the Indian Ocean

i) crimes at sea, such as piracy, terrorism and insurgency, drug trafficking;

ii)disaster management in the form of tsunamis, cyclones, floods and earthquakes;

iii) marine safety, including search and rescue (SAR), salvage, accidents at sea; possible cooperation between Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the new Australian Joint Offshore Protection Command to cooperate on long range identification and tracking of ships (LRIT) systems based on existing SAR regions in the Indian Ocean

iv) environmental degradation from oil spills, waste disposal and pollution by ships

v)protection of shipping, trade and keeping sea-lines of communication open at all times

vi) offshore territorial conflicts generated by a need to control energy resources, fisheries and minerals

vii) Weapons of mass destruction proliferation management.

scope of india australia strategic engagement
Scope of India-Australia Strategic Engagement
  • Energy security relationship-Australian sale of Uranium to India under the NSG waiver for India;
  • Economic interdependence of India and Australia-India’s need for minerals for its expanding industrial economy;
  • India’s skilled human resources from its military sector for Australia’s Defence Forces ;
  • Cooperation on Humanitarian issues of Maritime Security in tackling ‘climate change induced disasters’ in the Indian Ocean—similar to the Operation Unified Assistance in 2004 in the post-tsunami relief operations;
  • India-Australia cooperation is evident in the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the Thousand-Ship Navy’ (TSN) initiative.
i india australia strategic convergences potential and challenges
IIndia-Australia Strategic Convergences: Potential and Challenges
  • Strategic relations between India and Australia would be conditioned on how New Delhi and Canberra would view each power’s role in the Asia-Pacific security architecture;
  • While the ‘rise of China’ and the ‘retreat of the US’ would forge greater cooperation between India and Australia—they would not be enduring factors; since both powers have their respective paths of strategic autonomy;
  • Australia’s sensitivities towards India’s nuclear programme and the reluctance of sale of Uranium to India while a similar sale to China contradicts Australia’s position on nuclear proliferation;
  • Attacks on Indians have exacerbated tensions between the two countries; India’s demographic quotient offers to Australia a higher skill advantage
assessment
Assessment
  • India and Australia have a substantial agenda to deepen strategic engagement on the basis of economic interdependence and strategic vision of a ‘peaceful democratic Asia’;
  • The India-Australia ‘fulcrum’ of strategic cooperation would be in the Southeast Asia-Indian Ocean Region that would bring greater maritime cooperation to tackle transnational threats;
  • Greater economic interdependence based on globalization that is deferential to human development would be a critical factor for both India and Australia even as they contend several transnational threats;
  • India-Australia naval and maritime cooperation would be a vital and ‘stabilizing’ factor in the strategic partnership having vital effects on the emergent Asian security architecture;
  • India and Australia need to rework on the issue of Indians in Australia who have been subject to repeated criminal attacks.