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India Turns EastInternational Engagement and US-China Rivalry$
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Frédéric Grare

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190859336

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190859336.001.0001

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India and Australia’s Paradoxical Strategic Relationship

India and Australia’s Paradoxical Strategic Relationship

(p.115) 5 India and Australia’s Paradoxical Strategic Relationship
India Turns East

Frédéric Grare

Oxford University Press

After decades of mutual indifference, India’s and Australia’s strategic interests are converging. Both countries share increasing apprehension about China’s rise. Yet, despite a common concern regarding Chinese assertiveness and growing trade between the two countries, engagement remains limited. Both states see a lot of risk but few security benefits in appearing confrontational toward China. Moreover, their respective partnerships with the United States constrain the development of their bilateral security relations as they feel no need to deviate from their current parallel trajectory. In that sense the relations between India and Australia illustrate the limits of the Look East Policy. Deep ambivalence persists between the two countries and defence cooperation is largely restricted to soft security and dialogue. Both sides remain cautious about giving the relationship a strategic significance that could be interpreted as the beginning of a coalition against China.

Keywords:   India Australia relationship, India Australia trade, Threat of China, India US partnership, Look East Policy, Australia’s threat perception, Converging strategic interests, Strategic ambivalence, China factor

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