NEW DELHI: Amid Chinese belligerence and expansionism in its immediate maritime neighbourhood and beyond, the Indo-Pacific remains a region of global attention. The strategic importance of the region is not lost on India and Australia who have a working defence relationship. We cannot deter major powers on our own, so need trusted and transparent relationships with partners and allies, says Lt Gen. Greg Bilton, Chief of Joint Operations, Australia. At the recent India Defence Conclave organised by Bharat Shakti, he said there was an “opportunity now (for India and Australia) to coordinate our activities, leverage the resources of both to achieve better levels of situational awareness”. Western Naval Commander Vice-Admiral Dinesh Tripathi, who was part of the discussion moderated by StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale, was of the view that the bilateral military relationship is at “near peak but more needs to be done; we are working towards that”.