India to invite Australia to Malabar Exercise

Published: July 10, 2020

India is to invite Australia to join the Malabar Exercise for the first time. With Australia participating in the exercise, for the first time all members of Quad will be engaged at military level. The exercise will bring together the navies of Australia, Japan, US and India in the Bay of Bengal in the end of 2020.

Highlights

The decision to invite Australia in the exercise comes after India and China was caught up in their worst stand off in the borders that killed 20 Indian soldiers.

China has been uncomfortable with the informal coalition of all the four countries. It was first formed in 2004 to help Tsunami hit nations in the Indo-Pacific. The grouping has been coordinating with South Korea, Vietnam and New Zealand post Tsunami.

Malabar exercise

Malabar exercises were instituted in 1992 between India and US and has been regular since 2004. Japan became a permanent partner of the exercise in 2015. However, the Chinese have objected to the exercise only when Australia participated in the drills in 2007.

Why is India inviting Australia?

India is inviting Australia to upgrade the defence agreement between the countries. India and Australia signed the Mutual Logistics support Agreement that allowed access to each other bases and ports.

The Quad has always been a security platform but ha not yet added a military context to it. Including Australia to the exercise will bring in the military component in to Quad.

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