Penny Wong, the foreign minister of Australia, stated on Tuesday that China is still modernizing its military in a secretive manner and at a pace unmatched globally. The alliance Canberra has with India, she continued, is essential to the “strategic balance of power” in the area. During a speech at Delhi University College, Wong stated that Australia is firmly committed to alliances such as the Quad to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty in the Indo-Pacific region.
“…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.
Wong met her Indian counterpart S Jaishankar for the Foreign Ministers’ Framework Dialogue earlier in the day in the nation’s capital. EAM Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh participated in the India-Australia 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue earlier on Monday along with their Australian counterparts, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles.