Australia’s role in peace in the South China Sea

The US Indo-Pacific Strategy and Its Delusions | NewsClick

Is Australia playing ‘world police’, or rightly enforcing the Law of the Sea?


Australia has a role to play in challenging China’s illegal ‘nine-dash line’ in the South China Sea, but it must consider how it does so carefully, Aristyo Rizka Darmawan writes.

A recent incident where the Australian warship HMAS Parramatta was closely tracked by a Chinese warship in the South and the East China Sea has sparked questions about Australia’s role in the contested area.

During the intercept, Chinese military assets, including a guided-missile destroyer and a nuclear-powered attack submarine, reportedly warned the Australian warship that it was in ‘China’s territorial waters’ and told it that it ‘must leave’.

Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles claimed the ‘regional presence deployment’ that the HMAS Parramatta conducted was routine, citing ‘freedom of navigation’ and ‘the global rules-based order’, and highlighting Australia’s role in a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’.

But does Australia really need to be doing this? Regional presence deployments have their pros, but they have their cons too.

For one, the defence minister’s argument is fair enough. Australia and its partners do have the freedom to challenge China’s illegal and excessive claims in the South China Sea. At the 2016 South China Sea arbitration, the tribunal made it clear that China’s claimed ‘nine-dash line’ does not have any legal basis under international law.

READ FULL ARTICLE : The US Indo-Pacific Strategy and Its Delusions | NewsClick


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