Australia welcomes statements issued in the context of the ASEAN Summit on 10-11 May, regarding the situation in the South China Sea.
We share the serious concerns expressed by ASEAN over recent developments which have served to raise tensions in the region.
Australia does not take a position on competing claims in the South China Sea, but has a legitimate interest in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, unimpeded trade and freedom of navigation.
Australia urges parties to exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions that could escalate the situation and take steps to ease tensions.
We call on governments to clarify and pursue territorial claims and accompanying maritime rights in accordance with international law, including the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
We encourage China and ASEAN member countries to make early progress on a substantive code of conduct for the South China Sea.