Australia will Support the Philippines Spratlys - with America

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) guaranteed 200 Nautical Mile Economic Zone for the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia. UNCLOS did not show any China’s territory in the West Philippines Sea’s Spratlys. China’s limit is only until Paracel islands adjacent to their waters.  The Philippines recorded already 6 invasions by china to the West Philippine Sea as of June 16, 2011.

Australia on Thursday (16th June 2011) expressed their support to the Philippines' call for a peaceful resolution on the issue concerning the Spratly Islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Australia, which has various oil and gas exploration projects in the Philippines, said at a bilateral meeting between the two countries that it calls for a peaceful resolution of the dispute in the reputedly oil-rich islands. The two-day meeting in Canberra concluded Thursday.

“Ministers and secretaries reaffirmed the view of both countries that territorial disputes should be settled peacefully and in a manner consistent with [the] international law," according to a joint statement, a copy of which was secured by GMA News Online.

The Philippines has recently accused China of intrusion into its territory near Palawan province.

Value and obey the UNCLOS

Australia said those involved in the territorial dispute — Brunei, China, Malaysia, Philippines, and Taiwan — should adhere to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which codifies the international law of the sea.

Officials of the Philippines and Australia also engaged in extensive and detailed discussions on strategic issues such as maritime security at the West Philippine Sea.

Australia’s expression of support came less than a week after Washington expressed its support to Manila over the same issue.

Rules-based, cooperative approaches

Manila, which earlier accused Beijing of violating an agreement aimed at preventing tensions in the region, challenged other claimants over the potentially oil-rich region to adhere to UNCLOS to prevent armed conflict and ensure freedom of navigation.

The Philippines and Australia are one in supporting “rules-based, cooperative approaches" in addressing conflicts at the Spratlys Islands, according to the joint statement.

Philippine officials said it has recorded at least six Chinese incursions in Philippine-claimed areas in the Spratlys Islands. The Philippine military has discovered the installation of Chinese posts in Amy Douglas Reef, which it said was well within the country’s 200 Nautical Mile Exclusive Economic Zone.


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