Australia on Wednesday joined the United States and Japan in expressing concern over Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea after Manila protested the presence of more than 200 Chinese vessels moored near the Julian Felipe Reef, which is inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
“We remain concerned about destabilizing actions that could provoke escalation,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson said on Twitter.
Robinson said Australia supports an Indo-Pacific region that is secure, open and inclusive.
“The South China Sea – a crucial international waterway – is governed by international rules and norms, particularly UNCLOS,” he said, referring to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Australia’s statement came just a day after both the United States and Japan spoke out on the issue, opposing any action that would drive up tension in the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.