Australia to stress international law in South China Sea dispute

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Bishop, in a speech ahead of a special meeting of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Sydney, will not name China but will argue that international law will stabilize a region strained by rival claims in the South China Sea.

“The rules-based order is designed to regulate behavior and rivalries of and between states, and ensure countries compete fairly and in a way that does not threaten others or destabilizes their region or the world,” Bishop will say in Sydney, according to a leaked draft of the speech seen by the Australian Financial Review.

“It places limitations on the extent to which countries use their economic or military power to impose unfair agreements on less powerful nations.”

China claims most of the South China Sea, an important trade route which is believed to contain large quantities of oil and natural gas, and has been building artificial islands on reefs, some with ports and air strips.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-asean-australia/australia-to-stress-international-law-in-south-china-sea-dispute-idUSKCN1GP0NM

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