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Building Indo-Pacific alliance is ‘critical priority’ for Australia – PM Morrison

Building Indo-Pacific alliance is ‘critical priority’ for Australia – PM Morrison

PM Scott Morrison said on Wednesday that building an Indo-Pacific alliance with like-minded nations will be a “critical priority” for Australia’s government, and warned that the pace of militarization in the region was unprecedented. “Today, the Indo-Pacific is the epicenter of strategic competition,” Morrison told the Aspen Security Forum. “Tensions over territorial claims are growing.”

The annual conference is being hosted using virtual digital platforms this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia last month said it would boost defense spending by 40 percent over the next 10 years, buying long-range military equipment that will be focused on the Indo-Pacific region, where both Beijing and Canberra are competing for influence.

Morrison also said China and the US together have a “special responsibility” to respect international law and should resolve their disputes peacefully.