Amid regional tensions between Canberra and Beijing, the visit comes as a top Australian military official
The chief of the Australian Air Force has held multiple meetings with senior military officials in India, promising to strengthen bilateral ties as Canberra warns China against further expansion into the Indo-Pacific Ocean.
Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hopfeld has met separately with senior members of the Indian military – among them Army Chief General Manoj Pandey, Air Chief Marshal VR ChowdhuryAnd Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R. Hari Kumar. Each branch marked the tour with a brief statement online.
“Issues of mutual interest and ways to enhance bilateral defense cooperation have been discussed.” At the meeting, the New Delhi Air Force said in a tweet that it later shared its Australian counterpart.
Hopfield sat down with Indian Defense Secretary Ajay Kumar “Too hot” And “Friendly” Dialogue, Kumar is an announcement Tweet He also shared pictures from his own meeting.
Although officials described their talks only in broad terms, the meetings came amid growing security ties between New Delhi and Canberra, which sparked a more intensive strategic partnership after signing a major agreement in 2020 to provide mutual access to each other’s military bases. The Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) enhances overall defense cooperation, as well as logistics and maintenance assistance between the two sides.
Hopfeld’s visit also coincided with growing tensions between Australia and China, following Beijing’s signing of a security agreement with the Solomon Islands, a Pacific nation about 1,000 miles (1,700 km) off Australia’s northeast coast. Canberra officials have repeatedly criticized Beijing over the security agreement, suggesting it would use the agreement to establish a military foothold outside its borders.
Most recently, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a Chinese military base would be set up in Solomon. “Red line” For Canberra, though, it was later clarified that Australia would make simple sense of it “Work with partners to ensure that this type of result is prevented.” He did not specify exactly how this would be achieved, but said it would be “Stupid” To speculate on what steps Australia and its allies could take.
Chinese officials, meanwhile, have rejected Canberra’s warning “Wild remarks to defame China and shout for war” And said the terrible prediction of a new Chinese military base in Solomon “Pure malpractice is fabricated by a handful of people who have erroneous motives.”
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