InDaily InDaily

Support independent Journalism Donate Subscribe
Support independent journalism


Australia tipped to join US in South China Sea exercises


Australia is set to join the United States in military exercises through the South China Sea, after branding Beijing’s maritime claims to the disputed waters unlawful.

Print article

Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds will meet with their US counterparts in Washington this week.

It is expected Australia will be asked to join increased US naval missions to push back against China’s militarisation of disputed territories in the South China Sea.

Ahead of the meeting, Senator Payne played down the risk of a miscalculation or mistake by either side during the joint military exercises, which could spark a heated conflict.

“We expect all participants and all present in the South China Sea waters – and anywhere else, frankly – to behave and to act in a way that is responsible and sensible and contributes to safety and security,” she told ABC radio.

“Avoiding miscalculation and avoiding those sorts of issues is a very important part of the way that a responsible military force behaves.”

Labor deputy leader and defence spokesman Richard Marles said with 60 per cent of Australian shipping trade passing through the South China Sea, freedom of navigation was critical.

However, he said it was not in Australia’s interests to engage in territorial claims in the contested waters.

“We’ve got core national interests at issue in terms of navigating the South China Sea,” Marles said.

“As a matter of principle that (freedom of navigation exercises) does need to be on the table.”


Want to comment?

Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.

We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.

InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Local News Matters

Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to help InDaily continue to uncover the facts.

Donate today
Powered by PressPatron

More News stories

Loading next article