Australia and India in Asia: When ‘Look West’ Meets Act East

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  • September 2016

    The recent Australian decision to extend civilian nuclear cooperation to India, overriding its own long-term principled position, is no ordinary development. Taking that as a starting point, this article seeks to set out the context and rationale for an all-round and long-term closer relationship between the two countries. Arguing that such an Australian decision is not just a one-off gesture, but instead, it forms the basis for deeper strategic engagement, this article advances that the emergence of the concept of ‘Indo-Pacific’ is part of a shared strategic vision between the two, with the Indian Ocean constituting the cornerstone of their common security policy. In view of India lately revisiting its fundamental foreign policy assumptions in an imaginative manner, the US ‘pivot’ coupled with the intermittent projection of a ‘democratic quadrangle’—also inclusive of Japan and the US—lends further gravitas to this growing bilateral dynamic.