Eye on China, PM Modi visits Australia to ‘next level’ defense, security ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Australia on a bilateral visit, indicating that New Delhi’s priority is to counteract China’s rising aggressiveness in the Indo-Pacific area. He previously met with leaders of the Pacific Island nations in Papua New Guinea.

PM Modi will be in Australia from May 22 to May 24. According to External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, the three-day trip would include “constructive engagements with Australian leadership, the business community, and diaspora members.”

“The Indian community in Sydney welcomed me with open arms when I arrived. I’m excited for a variety of programs over the next two days,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted on Monday. The two nations are committed to a peaceful, safe, and prosperous Indo-Pacific, said Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who added that he is “honoured” to welcome PM Narendra Modi.

PM Modi met with prominent business figures to begin Day 2. The executive chairman of the green energy and technology company Fortescue Future Industries, John Andrew Henry Forrest AO, and the prime minister had one-on-one conversations. The two spoke on the economic potential in India and the changes implemented that have made the nation a desirable place to invest. Additionally, he spoke with Gina Rinehart, executive chairman of Hancock Prospecting, and Paul Schroder, CEO of the retirement fund AustralianSuper. On May 24, Prime Minister Modi and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will meet in private. The discussion will cover the whole range of India-Australia relations, including the concerns relating to social harmony and the safety and security of the two societies, according to Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra.

The Australian government said in a statement that Modi and Albanese would attend a community gathering in Sydney to honor Australia’s vibrant and diversified Indian diaspora, which it called “a core part of our multicultural community.” In an interview with an Australian newspaper, Prime Minister Modi stated his desire to take Australia-India relations to the “next level,” which would involve closer defense cooperation to promote the development of a “open and free” Indo-Pacific.

The two countries must go ahead to realize the “full potential” of their defense and strategic connections in order to combat issues like terrorism, the security of communication sea lanes, piracy, and climate change, according to Modi, despite the fact that there has been substantial success in many areas of cooperation.

Prime Minister Modi referred to Anthony Albanese, his Australian colleague, as a “dear friend,” and stated that the rapidly expanding Indian community in Canberra was fostering the bilateral ties between New Delhi and Canberra.

“Our partnerships’ strongest cornerstone continues to be our people-to-people connections. Over the last several years, the Indian diaspora in Australia has grown, according to PM Modi.

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