March 15, 2007

W'S LEGACY:

Pacific allies to enlist India (Dennis Shanahan, March 15, 2007, The Australian)

AUSTRALIA has been approached to dramatically upgrade its three-way security arrangements with Japan and the US to include India in a four-way security agreement that would encircle China.

The Japanese Government and US Vice-President Dick Cheney are keen to include the growing economic and military power of India in the already enhanced "trilateral" security arrangements, locking together the three most powerful democracies of the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Cheney gave the Japanese proposal new life on his recent visit to Japan and Australia after sections of the Bush administration rebuffed the plan. He raised the idea in talks with John Howard in Sydney two weeks ago after discussing the plan with the Government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

The plan involves turning the trilateral security arrangements between Australia, Japan and the US into a "quadrilateral" arrangement including India.

India's military power, economic growth and geographic position would significantly offset China's emerging power, which is of concern to many in the Bush administration.

It is understood the Australian Government is not against the idea in principle but does not wish to hurry the process and wants to ensure that the heightened relationship with Japan is settled before embarking on any new arrangements. Mr Cheney's backing for the plan, which is understood to be strongly supported by the new Japanese Prime Minister, came only two weeks before Tuesday's signing of a historic security declaration between Japan and Australia, putting security, intelligence and military relations on the highest level they have been since World War II.

The disclosure of Mr Cheney's support for a plan that would close the back door on China is likely to cause deeper concern in Beijing, which is already accusing the US of attempting to contain its growth and influence.


One of these days the striped pants set is going to wake up and realize what W has pulled off right under their up-turned noses.


Posted by Orrin Judd at March 15, 2007 12:01 PM
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