Mon, 25 Jan 2021

New Delhi [India], December 3 (ANI): Amid escalating tensions between China and Australia, India on Thursday affirmed its strong bilateral ties with Australia on Thursday, stating that the two nations shared values based on commitments to a rule-based order.

Responding to a query on tensions between China and Australia, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said: "India and Australia enjoy strong bilateral relationship and both are democratic nations with shared values based on commitments to rule-based global order. Recently the India-Australia bilateral relationship has been elevated to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership at the Virtual Summit between the two Prime Ministers on 4 June 2020.""Our bilateral engagements span across areas including agriculture, mining and critical minerals, education and skill development, infrastructure, maritime cooperation, counter-terrorism and cyber-security etc," he added.

Citing Australia's participation in the Malabar Exercise 2020, Srivastava stated that the nation is an important partner in the implementation of the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative tabled by India, as well as in the post-Covid economic re-balancing through building more resilient supply chains.

"Given the depth and importance of our bilateral relations, naturally, we exchange views on regional and global developments as well as current issues of concern," he said.

The 24th edition of the Malabar series of multilateral naval exercises concluded in the Arabian Sea in two phases recently with navies of India, America, Japan and Australia taking part in it, which has reportedly infuriated China.

The relationship between Canberra and Beijing deteriorated after Australia pushed for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus in April without consulting Beijing.

China recently announced that it will impose temporary anti-dumping duties of more than 200 per cent on Australian wine imports. (ANI)

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