Australia is in the final stages of developing an annual military training exercise with South Korea as it works towards building partnerships to counter Chinese aggression.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton will tell a Lowy Institute conference on Thursday Australia's defence forces are increasing joint training exercises to help push for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
"The Indo-Pacific we seek has Australia as a strong and reliable partner - a nation that more than lifts its weight in securing peace in our region," he will say.
"Australia can be relied upon to work for an Indo-Pacific where sovereignty is respected; which is open and free and which is stable and secure."
Mr Dutton's speech does not reference China, instead speaking of regional stability and sovereignty, after Chinese officials criticised recent rhetoric used by the defence minister.
"We are facing challenges including rapid military modernisation, tension over territorial claims, heightened economic coercion ... through to enhanced disinformation, foreign interference and cyber threats," he says.
Mr Dutton previously used a speech at the National Press Club to say he would call out Chinese aggression as it arose and would not shy away from frank comments on any actions contrary to Australia's interests.
His address came a day after a key security advisor to US President Joe Biden told the same conference China wanted to "drive Australia to its knees", but would eventually realise the need to re-engage diplomatically.
Kurt Campbell remarked on China's military build up and lauded Australia for standing up to the communist giant, saying the country respected strength and resilience.
Australian Associated Press
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