Oz to counter India, China in Indian Ocean

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Australia stepped up efforts to counter naval supremacy of India and China in the Indian Ocean as the strategic region gains importance as a seaway for oil shipped from the Middle East to Asia.
Australian defence minister Stephen Smith announced that Canberra will undertake a Force Posture Review to assess whether Australian Defence Force (ADF) is correctly geographically positioned to meet Australia’s modern and future strategic and security challenges.
Australia is reviewing the deployment of its military in response to a build-up in Asian countries such as China and India and the growing need to protect its natural gas resources off its northwest coast.
“All we ask in terms of a growth of military capacity is that one is transparent as to its strategic intentions,”Smith said.
India and China are rapidly boosting their militaries, and Australia expects world powers will vie for naval supremacy in the Indian Ocean as it gains importance as a seaway for oil shipped from the Middle East to Asia.
The review will be undertaken by Department of Defence and overseen by an expert panel made up of two renowned Australian national security specialists Allan Hawke and Ric Smith.
The results of the Review and the views of the Expert Panel will help provide a strategic context for the next scheduled Defence White Paper in the first quarter of 2014.
According to official statement, the review will address the range of present and emerging global, regional and national strategic and security factors which require careful consideration for the future, including the rise of the Asia-Pacific as a region of global strategic significance. (PTI)