India, Australia strengthen defence ties as China tensions loom Jun 05, 2020 0 802 12345 AFPNew DelhiIndia and Australia strengthened defence ties Thursday, including sealing a pact to boost military logistics support and maritime cooperation, as both nations experience heightened tensions with regional superpower China.In a virtual summit held online as the coronavirus pandemic restricts international travel, the two leaders signed a Mutual Logistics Support Arrangement as they hailed an upgrade of their strategic partnership.“India is committed to further intensifying comprehensive relations with Australia,” India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in opening remarks.“This is important not only for our two nations, but is also needed for the Indo-Pacific region as well as for the world.”His Australian counterpart Scott Morrison added that “in a time like this, we want to deal very much with friends and trusted partners”.The foreign and defence ministers will now meet at least biannually to discuss strategic issues, the two nations said in a joint statement.Other agreements on education, mining, and defence science and technology were also inked during the summit, which took place after two earlier scheduled visits by Morrison to India were postponed because of the Australian bushfires and the pandemic.A senior Indian foreign ministry official told reporters in a media briefing later Thursday that “there was no discussion on China” in the summit.But analysts said Beijing’s increasing assertiveness in the region, as well as ongoing US-China tensions, was pushing India and Australia closer together to mitigate some of that risk.“I didn’t expect these two would mention the ‘C’ word, China, but it was very much at the back of their minds,” Asian Studies Adjunct Professor Purnendra Jain of the University of Adelaide told AFP. Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES Hong Kong protesters defy ban, rally to remember Tiananmen Jun 05, 2020 0 719 Rohingya refugees running scared from coronvirus tests Jun 05, 2020 0 38 Taiwan urges Beijing to acknowledge Tiananmen crackdown Jun 05, 2020 0 37 Philippines allows churches to resume Mass as caseload tops 20,000 DPA Manila The Philippine government on Thursday announced it was allowing churches to resume Mass and other religious gatherings in areas with a low risk of coronavirus infections. Religious gatherings and work .. South Korean prosecutors seek arrest warrant for Samsung heir Seoul South Korean prosecutors are seeking an arrest warrant for Samsung Group heir Lee Jae Yon, as part of an investigation into a controversial merger between two group units five years ago, local media reported on .. Japanese student held after two killed with crossbow Tokyo Japanese police on Thursday arrested a university student suspected of killing two members of his family with a crossbow and injuring two others in a rare violent crime in the country. Police in Takarazuka city near .. Spike in Malaysia virus cases as migrants are infected AFP Kuala Lumpur Malaysia reported 277 coronavirus cases Thursday, its biggest daily increase, due to a growing outbreak at a migrant detention centre, sparking accusations the government is failing to protect .. Thousands attend funeral ceremony of well-known cleric in Kabul DPA Kabul Despite a pandemic, several thousand people, including politicians and government officials, attended the funeral ceremony of a well-known cleric who was killed by a bomb earlier this week. The funeral .. N Korea threatens to end military agreement over activists’ leaflets DPA Seoul North Korea has threatened to pull out of a military agreement with South Korea unless the government in Seoul takes action on activists sending leaflets into the reclusive neighbouring nation. South Korean ..