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|Australia, France oppose actions increasing tensions in East Sea|
Hanoi - Australia and France ministers have voiced serious concerns about the situation in the East Sea and called for all disputes to be resolved in a peaceful manner in accordance with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
In a joint statement after the Australia-France Foreign and Defence (2+2) Ministerial Consultations for the first time in a virtual form on August 30, the ministers expressed their strong opposition to destabilising or coercive actions that could increase tensions in the waters, which is internationally known as the South China Sea.
They reaffirmed the importance of freedom of navigation and overflight consistent with international law and agreed to closer maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, including through future joint transits.
The statement underscored that Australia and France will strengthen cooperation to implement each side’s strategy in the Indo-Pacific and maintain the commitment of other regional partners, including the US, in upholding an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific in accordance with international law.
They reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN centrality and the critical role of ASEAN-led fora, “which sit at the apex of the regional architecture, in promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity”.