DFA: Philippines and Australia to boost defense ties

PHOTO FROM PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD

THE PHILIPPINES and Australia are seeking to boost sea domain awareness, defense and marine science under a stronger maritime cooperation, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday.

In a statement, DFA also said the two nations would enhance their fishery partnership and protection of the marine environment.

Philippine and Australian officials during a dialogue earlier this month in Canberra discussed strategic trends in the Indo-Pacific region.

They also gave updates on engagements with partners including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, United States and European countries during the second meeting, DFA said.

Both nations affirmed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 2016 ruling by a United Nations-backed tribunal invalidating China’s claim to more than 80% of the South China Sea.

The Hague-based international court favored the Philippines in the sea dispute — a decision that China has ignored.

The South China Sea, a key global shipping route, is subject to overlapping territorial claims by China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Representatives from both sides included members of security, fisheries, defense and law enforcement agencies.

The Philippines will host the third maritime dialogue in Manila next year. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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