Australia will be discussing China’s military take on the South China Sea dispute next week with Malaysia after the country has shown its interest in joining the “freedom of navigation” patrols when India took a step back.
Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Monday that he will be meeting Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne next week to discuss China’s military measures taken on the sea dispute. The discussion will also be joined by representatives from the Philippines and Vietnam.
China has always claimed to own major portions of the sea’s resource-rich waters, which constitutes the channel through which $5 trillion trade passes every year. News.com.au reported that the claims seem conflicting as neighbour nations Brunei, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia have similar things to say relating to the South China Sea dispute.
The authorities and nationals seem to question China’s ability to protect its claims of owning the major portion of resource-rich waters. The doubt came following the efforts undertaken by the United States in the form of “freedom of navigation” measures conducted near islands that constitute China’s junction for advanced weapons and controversial reclamation assignments.
Hishammuddin confirmed to meet Payne to undertake efforts and help China remember its promise of not using military means in the area. “If the reports we’ve received from various sources regarding the build-up and placement of military assets in the Spratlys are true — this forces us in a pushback against China,” Hishammuddin told reporters.
The Malaysian minister added he would also hold a meeting with Vietnam and the Philippines to discuss the issue and will track responses coming from his counterparts. In case the reports of military build-up were true, Malaysia cannot stop it alone and it needs backing from the neighbour countries to take aggressive actions.”We need the support of other ASEAN countries, and I will continue to (seek that support),” Hishammuddin said as quoted by
“We need the support of other ASEAN countries, and I will continue to (seek that support),” Hishammuddin said as quoted by Reuters. “This is important for us to maintain balance, and to curb the actions of superpowers, whether it is China or the United States.”