Philippines, Australia Team Up For Sea Patrols In South China Sea
The Philippines and Australia have begun joint sea and air patrols in the South China Sea. The Philippines is increasing its efforts to address what it sees as China’s assertive activities in the South China Sea.
This area is crucial as it’s a major route for global shipping. The patrols with Australia, following similar activities with the United States, aim to maintain security and follow agreed-upon international rules.
Purpose of Joint Patrols
The joint maritime patrols by the Philippines and Australia are designed to emphasize their commitment to a peaceful, secure, and rules-based order in the region. It’s about ensuring that international norms are respected and that the sovereignty of nations is upheld.
Before this initiative with Australia, the Philippines had conducted similar sea and air patrols with the United States in the same region. These activities reflect a growing concern among Pacific nations about China’s expanding influence.
Several Countries Against China
The Philippines is concerned about China’s presence in areas increasingly close to its shores. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines has expressed that the situation in the South China Sea has become more worrying, especially as China shows interest in territories very close to the Philippine coastline.
Besides the Philippines, several other countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei have territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea. China claims almost the entire sea, leading to tensions with these nations.
President Marcos Jr. stated that the situation in the South China Sea is not improving and is, in fact, becoming more concerning. He highlighted the proximity of Chinese interests to the Philippine coast.
Regions for Joint Patrols
In 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea have no legal basis. This was a significant decision, affirming the rights of other nations in the region.
The joint patrols between the Philippines and Australia will be carried out in the West Philippine Sea. This term is used by Manila to refer to parts of the South China Sea within its exclusive economic zone. The patrols involve naval vessels and surveillance aircraft from both countries.