As key strategic players and mid-level powers, Australia and India remain two important countries in the Asia Pacific region. Strong political, economic and security relations have developed between the two countries since the 1940s. Australia and India also share democratic values and have strong democratic institutions. The linkages between the two countries also extend to population migration, with Australia being home to a large Indian diaspora.
For both countries, the Asia-Pacific region remains of vital strategic importance, especially in terms of their relationships with the US and China.Australia has traditionally been a strong ally of the United States; however, italso needs to balance its relations with China, which is its largest trading partner.Similarly, despite India’s emerging strategic partnership with the US, its growing economic relationship with China is also likely to be a key factor influencing its relations with the US. Another common concern for Australia and India is the issue of nuclear proliferation. While India is not a signatory to the NPT, it has maintained strict controls on its nuclear technology and has entered into a civilian nuclear agreement with the US. Australia, on the other hand, is not a nuclear armed state, though it does export uranium to nuclear-armed states which are signatories to the NPT.
This book will examine Indo-Australian relations, primarily covering the two major issue areas highlighted above. However, it will also cover other aspects of the bilateral relationship, such as economic relations and cooperation in the sphere of higher education.