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Australia seeks closer security ties with Asia: PM

Australia is seeking stronger ties with regional states to counter security concerns raised by the dawn of the Asia-Pacific century, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism.  told parliament Thursday.

Canberra wants to expand its security cooperation with growing Asian giants China and India as well as with regional partners including Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Rudd said.

"While the likelihood of conflict between the major powers is currently low, their interactions still largely shape the international order in which Australia must operate," Rudd said.

Presenting the first in a regular series of national security statements, Rudd announced the appointment of former Special Forces commander Duncan Lewis to the new post of national security adviser.

Plans to create a department of homeland security Noun 1. Department of Homeland Security - the federal department that administers all matters relating to homeland security
Homeland Security

executive department - a federal department in the executive branch of the government of the United States
 had been ditched as too bureaucratic and Lewis would instead improve coordination among existing national security agencies.

Rudd said the future stability of the Asia-Pacific region would rely largely on the continuing strong presence of Australia's closest ally, the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .

"The most crucial relationship, in East Asia East Asia

A region of Asia coextensive with the Far East.

East Asian adj. & n.
 and globally, will be between the United States and China," he said.

"For Australia, the relationships between China, the US and Japan will affect our security and our economy, given the importance to us of our relationships with each of these nations."

The rise of India would also be an important new factor in the strategic stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

"India will need to respond to the growing threats of domestic terrorism Noun 1. domestic terrorism - terrorism practiced in your own country against your own people; "the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City was an instance of domestic terrorism"  and manage its relationship with Pakistan," he said.

"Global growth, trade patterns and financial flows are also being increasingly shaped by India and other emerging powers."

Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, region of Asia (1990 est. pop. 442,500,000), c.1,740,000 sq mi (4,506,600 sq km), bounded roughly by the Indian subcontinent on the west, China on the north, and the Pacific Ocean on the east.  would be of great national security interest to Australia because its geographic proximity and continuing political and economic change.

"This diverse range of countries will, over the long term, experience continued economic growth, development and improving governance.

"But a number (of countries) will also be faced by ongoing challenges of terrorism, insurgency in·sur·gen·cy  
n. pl. in·sur·gen·cies
1. The quality or circumstance of being rebellious.

2. An instance of rebellion; an insurgence.

insurgency, insurgence
 and communal violence."

Terrorism was likely to endure as a serious threat for the foreseeable future, Rudd said.

"Australia has been explicitly and publicly mentioned as an enemy' by Islamist extremists and Australians have been specifically targeted in Bali, Baghdad and Jakarta."

He noted that local Muslim men had also been convicted by Australian courts on charges relating to relating to relate prepconcernant

relating to relate prepbezüglich +gen, mit Bezug auf +acc 
 preparing attacks in the country.

The government would next year release a new guide on counter-terrorism policy and make adjustments where necessary, including to bilateral arrangements and capacity building activities with regional countries.

National security policy would be built on an activist diplomatic strategy, a defence force ready to respond when necessary and on building and maintaining national security agencies, Rudd said.

He announced that the customs department would be reorganised to deal with border security and the problems of people smuggling People smuggling is a term which is used to describe transportation of people across international borders to a non-official entry point of a destination country for a variety of reasons.  under the new title Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
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Publication:AFP Asian Edition
Date:Dec 4, 2008
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