The Australian Navy has agreed with South China Sea Cooperation with the U.S. against China. However, they begged of freedom of navigation patrols that ventured nearer to purloined Chinese islands.
As the pressure in the SCS gets greater, so does the need for Australia to work with its American allies against the move by the CCP into more territory, although they skirted American pressure into more provocative actions in the SCS, reported The Guardian.
Both allies were in Washington to conduct high-level talks to get a working group to counter false information spread in the Indo-Pacific. One of the sources is the CCP of Beijing that is sowing false information and blocks the democratic process intentionally to manipulate the narrative. The CCP is becoming one of the worst destabilizing influences in the region.
The joint statement that condemned the Chinese moves like Uyghur repression, eliminating the freedoms they promised to uphold in Hong Kong. Marise Payne, Australian foreign affairs minister, also added that Australia intends on keeping their relationship with Beijing intact.
Payne and Linda Reynolds, Minister of Defense Minister, concurred with their US partners, Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper for more and frequent maritime operations between the U.S. and Australia. These theatres will be the SCS and the Indian Ocean, which is bilateral and in synchronicity with partners sharing the same goals in the region, cited Australian Naval Institute.
They declared Beijing's desire to possess swathes of ocean that is not even theirs, adding that some are already illegally occupied by Chinese forces and are based to spread bullying efforts in these areas. Everything is agreed upon by both allies but getting as close as twelve nautical miles for the reclaimed islands of 12-nautical miles is out of the question.
Most experts have said that the US is pushing Australia to do freedom of navigation exercises but desisted as Beijing can affect their trade relationship. China has been known to flex clout when needed, Australia cannot afford repercussions from the CCP, noted Taipei Times.
Payne stressed that her country and the U.S. have a close history and values it, but decisions are considered on their values.
Post-meeting, she was asked by the press and answered that both nations are not 100% in all decisions, stressing that both parties respect each other's viewpoints.
When she was asked about the Australian and Chinese interactions in other aspects like a business, she said that there is no intention to cause problems between Beijing and them but stressed that all decisions will be for their good.
Reynolds added that FONOPs and overflights were part of the discussion in the SCS. Australia has been passing and flying over the region, further adding that moving through the SCS will be under international law.
Beijing blasted the joint statement of Australia and America, calling these allegations lies, despite international coverage in the news.
The Chinese consulate answered that both U.S. and Australia are the violators since they broke international law and intruded their territory.
China said it will not be pressured by them, and hinted at Australia to push their buttons, and be ready for repercussions.
Part of the talks is to have U.S. funded fuel reserve for U.S. forces in Darwin. Both agreed on controlling the security situation in the SCS.
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