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The Quad Takes Shapes With Australia's Entry Into India's Military Malabar Exercise

After much anticipation, Australia would join the Malabar 2020 naval exercise, consisting of India, Japan and the U.S., to be held next month. This shapes the Quadrilateral--the Quad-- military alliance to bring stability in the backdrop of Chinese aggression its military deployment in the region.

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After much anticipation, Australia would join the Malabar 2020 naval exercise, consisting of India, Japan and the U.S., to be held next month. On this, all four nations find a common ground and common interests of unhindered maritime trade and security.

The issue of Australia’s inclusion in Malabar was one of key areas  that came up for discussion at the Quad foreign ministers meet in Tokyo early this month. .

Australia accepted the invitation from India to participate crucial in Exercise MALABAR 2020. Though, Australia had participated in Exercise MALABAR in 2007 but Australia's participation was abruptly halted as China raised the issue, calling it anti- China and an Asian-NATO. 

Malabar Naval exercise began as a bilateral naval exercise between India and the U.S. in 1992 and Japan was included in 2015 to make it a trilateral initiative. 

It is the advance naval exercise which  involves complex maritime operations in the surface, sub-surface and air domains. It also focuses on maritime interdiction operations (MIO), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-air and anti-surface firings. It also conducts high level of interoperability, visit board search and seizure (VBSS) and tactical scenario-based exercise at sea.

History has once again made in the backdrop of Chinese aggression in Ladakh. 

While world has watched in wary the belligerence of PLA at LAC in Ladakh, breaking all existing mechanism established so far and trespassing into the Indian territory.

This is also important as China has been breaking the international maritime rules and laws in South China Sea; in some of the recent cases, China unlawfully claiming Vietnamese territory of Paracels Islands and harassing Vietnamese fishing boats alongside threatening other littoral nations- Philippines and Indonesia- and others in the region.

The exercise will bring together four key regional defence partners India, the United States, Japan and Australia in November 2020.

Minister for Defence, Senator Linda Reynolds said Exercise MALABAR 2020 marked a milestone opportunity for the Australian Defence Force.

“High-end military exercises like MALABAR are key to enhancing Australia’s maritime capabilities, building interoperability with our close partners, and demonstrating our collective resolve to support an open and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” Minister Reynolds said.

“Exercise MALABAR also showcases the deep trust between four major Indo-Pacific democracies and their shared will to work together on common security interests.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Marise Payne, said the announcement was another important step in Australia’s deepening relationship with India.

“This builds on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, to which Prime Minister Morrison and Prime Minister Modi agreed on 4 June 2020, and which I progressed with my counterpart, Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar, this month when we met in Tokyo.

“It will bolster the ability of India, Australia, Japan and the United States to work together to uphold peace and stability across our region.”

In a statement Australia defence ministry said: "Participation in Exercise MALABAR demonstrates Australia’s enduring commitment to enhancing regional security, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, and increasing the capability and interoperability of the ADF."