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Paris-Delhi-Canberra axis.

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Indian express columnists s explained as Indo-pacific is one of the most important trade zones with immense strategic significance. The area becomes more important given India’s proximity to the region, huge trade activity and China’s assertiveness in the region.

  • The quadrilateral dialogue of the United States, Japan, India, and Australia can’t be the only effort at a new strategic arrangement for stability and balance.
  • In this context, recently French President Emmanuel Macron called for a new “Paris-Delhi-Canberra” Axis reflecting an Indo-Pacific “geo-strategic reality in the making”.

Converging Factors for three countries

  • India, France, and Australia have a striking convergence of security interests, defense capabilities, and maritime geography.
  • These three democracies are also drawn together by values. All three respect a rules-based order informed by the sovereign equality of nations and the need to guard against coercion and interference, whether from states or from terrorism.
  • France has substantial equities in the Indian Ocean, with territory and force presence. The bilateral military logistic cooperation agreement signed during President Macron’s recent visit to India is a sign of how rapidly a partnership can evolve when there is will. France is not only an Indian Ocean player: It has an appreciation of the wider Indo-Pacific as the global center of gravity. France has territory in the Pacific and a naval role in both oceans. It has 85 percent of its huge maritime economic exclusive zone in the Indo-Pacific, along with 8,000 defense personnel and 1.6 million citizens.

Why should the three countries come together?

  • China is extending its interests and influence across the Indian Ocean and also now in the South Pacific.
  • The geoeconomic overlay of its Belt and Road infrastructure will bring naval access and military presence, whether or not this is Beijing’s grand strategy.
  • That raises great anxieties, just when others are uncertain about the trajectory of American power under President Donald Trump and beyond.
  • This, therefore, is the age of a networked Indo-Pacific security architecture. It involves a strategy of diversified special partnerships, identified in Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper and endorsed by President Macron as consistent with the recent French Strategic Review.

Areas of cooperation and Indian express columnists

  • The three countries are ideally placed to share data to form a common operating picture of the Indian Ocean, watching for environmental stresses, illegal fishing, and other and maritime crimes.
  • In time, they could formalize three-way information sharing on seaborne traffic of all kinds. Between their island territories — France’s Reunion and Mayotte, Australia’s Cocos and Christmas islands and India’s Andaman and Nicobar islands — they possess a triangle of some of the most strategic maritime surveillance real estate in the Indian Ocean.
  • It is in everyone’s interests for other countries to form “a partnership of equals” with China, informed by principles such as freedom of navigation and overflight and the independence of all nations. This is not about rejecting China’s rise but about engaging it in a system of rules and mutual respect. New trust and cooperation among the other powers of the Indo-Pacific will help provide them what Macron has called “the means to do so”.

Also read: Chinese debt: A boon or a bane?

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