The vast blue Pacific Ocean is the most significant geographical feature of the Pacific region. Pacific Island countries’ domestic shipping fleets provide essential connectivity across archipelago nations but are often in very poor repair and would not pass seafaring standards in Australia or New Zealand.
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Australia and Indonesia share many interests, including upholding international law and norms, particularly on questions of sovereignty. With China's ongoing assertions in Indonesian waters, new diplomatic space has opened to consider boosting ties to encompass a Special Strategic Partnership.
Recent debate on the use of China-made closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have resulted in the recent removal of the cameras from federal and state buildings. Further regulatory measures are needed that prioritise cybersecurity risks and national interests while also resisting politicisation.
The recent iteration of the Malabar military exercises is an illustration of the growing military interoperability, mutual trust, and coordinated response of the Quad countries. More are needed to maintain stability and security in the Indo-Pacific, threatened increasingly by China's military assertiveness.