China ‘largest security anxiety’ for Australia, India: Australian Deputy PM Marles

Prime News, International, National, Security, New Delhi, June 24:- China is the “largest security anxiety” for Australia and India and Beijing’s actions along the Line of Actual Control in 2020 as well as in the South China Sea were reflective of its increasing assertiveness, and like-minded countries must work together in the face of such challenges, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said on Thursday (June 23).

Marles also said that China has been attempting to “shape the world in a way that was not seen before” and that deeper defence cooperation between India and Australia is absolutely crucial to protect the rules-based global order including in the Indo-Pacific region. India is “completely central” to Australia’s worldview, he told a small group of journalists, wrapping up his four-day visit to India, the first from Canberra after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s centre-left Labor Party came to power last month.

“For Australia, China is our largest trading partner and so is India. For Australia, China is our largest security anxiety. That is also the same for India. How to reconcile those two things is not obvious,” he said.

“Our anxiety is that when you look at the Chinese behaviour, be it in the Line of Actual Control (LAC), be it in the South China Sea — what you are seeing is an assertive behaviour which seeks to challenge the established rules-based order which has been so important to the prosperity of the region,” he added.

In that context, Marles, who is also Australia’s Defence Minister, said Canberra sees its relationship with India as being “really important” in protecting the global rules-based order, adding that Chinese assertiveness is a matter of concern. “We have seen it in respect of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The incident that occurred a couple of years ago, where there was appalling behaviour towards Indian soldiers, and we stand in solidarity with India in respect of that incident,” he said, referring to the Galwan Valley clashes in 2020. (MR, Inputs: Agencies)

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