Discussing The South China Sea, The Contents Of The agreement at the Australian ASEAN Summit

Discussing The South China Sea, The Contents Of The agreement at the Australian ASEAN Summit

Discussing the South China Sea, the contents of the agreement at the Australian ASEAN Summit. Australia on Monday 4 March 2024 said the countries of the Indo-Pacific and Central Southeast Asia faced serious defense threats. Australia revealed this when they set aside more funds for maritime security projects with ASEAN countries. This was revealed at a meeting with regional leaders in Melbourne.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong announced funding of 286.5 million Australian Dollars for ASEAN projects in various fields. Including maritime security amidst tensions over China’s increasing claims in the South China Sea. “We face actions that disrupt stability, provocative and coercive. Including unsafe actions at sea and in the air.” Wong said in his speech at the summit, without mentioning China by name. “What happens in the South China Sea, in the Taiwan Strait, in the Mekong sub-region, throughout the Indo-Pacific, affects us all.” he added as quoted by Reuters.

Australia is hosting leaders and officials from 10 ASEAN members to hold a summit from Monday to Wednesday 6 March 2024. ASEAN member Myanmar is not included due to the ongoing conflict in the country. Australia is using the 50th anniversary of its ties with ASEAN to improve relations with the region, in the face of China’s increasing diplomatic and military reach.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which it carries more than US$3 trillion in annual trade. Including territories claimed by ASEAN members such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. A permanent arbitration court said in 2016 that China’s claims had no legal basis. Speaking alongside Wong, Philippine Foreign Minister Enrique Manalo said the South China Sea is of strategic importance, and has a promising future as long as countries in the region decide to uphold cooperation, rather than confrontation.

Australia and the Philippines began their first joint sea and air patrols in the South China Sea in November 2023. The Philippines is stepping up efforts to counter what it calls China’s aggressive activities in the South China Sea. This has also become the peak point of tension between the bamboo curtain country and the United States regarding freedom of exploitation operations in the South China Sea.