India blocks Australian bid to join Exercise Malabar naval war game over fears it could unnecessarily enflame diplomatic tensions with China

India blocks Australian bid to join Exercise Malabar naval war game over fears it could unnecessarily enflame diplomatic tensions with China, by Andrew Greene.

For a quarter of a century military assets from the United States and India, and more recently Japan, have come together for joint annual defence drills — known as Exercise Malabar — north of Australia.

In 2007, Australia participated in Exercise Malabar but the Rudd government then withdrew from the exercises and accompanying security talks after concerns expressed by Beijing.

Earlier this year, Australia’s defence attache to New Delhi requested that the ADF be allowed to once again take part as an official “observer”, but the Government has confirmed India has declined the approach.