Fri, 01 Dec 2023

By Vishu AdhanaNew Delhi (India), November 21 (ANI): Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Tuesday said China continues to modernise its military at a scale not seen in the world, with little transparency.

She added that Canberra's partnership with India is crucial for the "strategic balance of power" in the region.

Speaking at an event at Delhi University College, Wong asserted that Australia is strongly committed to partnerships like the Quad to ensure sovereignty and territorial integrity in the Indo-Pacific.

"...China continues to modernise its military at a pace or scale not seen in the world for nearly a century with little transparency. North Korea continues its destabilising behaviour with its ongoing nuclear weapons programme and ballistic missile launches," Wong said.

She made the remarks during an interaction with students at Delhi University's Lady Shri Ram College.

The Australian foreign minister called for partnerships to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

"...The Indo-Pacific region requires partnerships to ensure a free and open order and to ensure that it is not dominated by any power. That is the vision of a region that is grounded in sovereignty," she said.

"Partnership with India is crucial since it contributes to the strategic balance of power in the region. Mutual strategic reassurance and military risk reduction measures are encouraged by Australia," she added.

Earlier in the day, Wong met her Indian counterpart S Jaishankar in the national capital for the Foreign Ministers' Framework Dialogue.

Earlier on Monday, the India-Australia 22 Ministerial Dialogue took place with EAM Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh participating with their Australian counterparts; Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles. (ANI)

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