India has assumed far greater prominence in Australian strategic thinking in recent times, as a potential economic and political counterweight to China. While Australia’s Indo-Pacific outlook is still inclusive in the sense that it envisages a constructive role for China that involves its adherence to the rules-based order, there’s been a greater inclination towards India because Beijing’s actions over the past five years haven’t exactly conformed to Canberra’s vision.
Five years ago, Melissa Conley Tyler and I argued in The Strategist that Australia, in its tilt towards the Indo-Pacific concept, faced an important choice: between its own preferred inclusive approach to China (and to seeking Chinese partnership) and an endorsement of the US’s and India’s more exclusivist views (aimed at keeping China out). Given that India was very much at the centre of the Indo-Pacific reorientation, this seemed to create a potential conundrum for Australian policymakers and a sticking point which would determine the sustainability of Canberra’s Indo-Pacific vision. Five years on, it seems that Australian and Indian policy perceptions on the Indo-Pacific are in much greater alignment.
Please click here to read the full “No longer in a cleft stick: India and Australia in the Indo-Pacific” published at The Strategist, written by Griffith Asia Institute Research Assistant, Aakriti Bachhawat.