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Published on : Sep 08, 2015

Australia has concerns about the large scale land reclamation and construction activities carried by China in the South China Sea, as stated by Kevin Andrews, the Australian Defense Minister.

The minister was delivering a lecture on the topic, Australia’s Defense Policies and Growing Synergies with India, which happened at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

Australia  is not be siding when it comes to competing territorial claims in the Sea, but the country is concerned that large scale construction and reclamation activity by China and other claims have raised tensions in the region, the minister pointed out.

Australia is in the favor of practical implementation of commitments that were laid under the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in South China Sea. Australia also urges other ASEAN member nations to show early progress on the substantive Code of Conduct laid for the South China Sea, the minister added reiterating on the country’s stand on the disputed South China Sea.

The minister termed India to be a key strategic partner and that there was scope or India and Australia for cooperation on global issues. The intention was formally recognized at the time of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Australia visit in November 2014. During that visit, the ‘Framework for Security Cooperation’ meant to facilitate greater defense collaboration formally came into shape.

India and Australia are two prominent ocean states that are cooperating closely in this region. The minister further said that a key plank of the agreement comes into effect as part of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). 

It is expected that by 2030, the Indo-Pacific region will account for 21 of the top 25 air and sea trade routes, about two-thirds of oil shipments globally, and about one-third of the bulk cargo movement in the world.