India, Australia, Indonesia ministers to meet amid concerns over China
The meeting will review China’s aggressive actions across the region, including the border standoff with India and territorial claims in the South China Sea
The foreign ministers and defense ministers of India, Australia, and Indonesia are set to hold two virtual meetings to bolster regional cooperation and maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region, said a report by Hindustan Times.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss China’s increasingly aggressive actions across the region, ranging from the border standoff with India to territorial claims in the South China Sea backed by the concentration of military assets.
A video conference between the foreign ministers – S Jaishankar, Marise Payne of Australia, and Retno Marsudi of Indonesia – is expected later this month and will be followed by the meeting of defense ministers, said the report.
“This is a fast-moving trilateral with the defense and foreign ministers expected to meet over the next couple of months. All three countries have a shared interest in an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” the report quoted sources as saying.
The foreign ministers will focus on working collaboratively to strengthen regional institutions such as the East Asia Summit (EAS) and on maritime security cooperation at their subsequent meeting, the report added.
The final schedules for the meetings are yet to be decided but Indonesian foreign minister Marsudi tweeted last week she had discussed the upcoming trilateral meet with her Australian counterpart Payne during a phone call on August 26.
The report quoted Rear Admiral (retired) Sudarshan Shrikhande as saying, “An increasing number of nations globally, but even more so across the Indo-Pacific are seriously concerned about China’s claims, belligerence, and arm-twisting while recognising the potential of its powerful military.”
The coming together of Australia, Indonesia and India could contribute to stability, freedom of the commons, and mutual understanding and respect, Shrikhande added.