Australia prepared to address threats to regional stability

Saying that the international community benefits from order, Australia Defence Minister Marise Payne said at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that Australia is ready to address threats that challenge regional stability and security.

Payne discussed four points in her remarks at the security forum.

“Firstly, we should continually remind ourselves that half a century of stability came about not by chance, but by design, by negotiation, and by persistence,” she said.

“The second important consideration is that strategic competition has to be bound by principles and rules,” she said.

The third point, she said “is a vital lesson of history: disruptive changes in international relations, when imposed on others, create instability.”

“The guiding principle for any process of change must be that one country cannot author rules for others,” she explained.

“For example, Australia’s position on South China Sea territorial disputes is well known and well established. Australia encourages all countries to clarify and resolve their territorial claims in the South China Sea based on international law,” she said. “And we have welcomed movement by ASEAN states and China towards a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea.”

And lastly, the fourth point, Payne said “we benefit most from a regional order where the rights of all sovereign nations are protected and encouraged.”

“As a nation, Australia is prepared to address threats as they arise, especially those that challenge the fabric of our regional stability and security, such as terrorism and such as North Korea’s illegal ballistic and nuclear weapons program,” she said.

“In that context, Australia has recently deployed a P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft to support the international community’s enforcement of the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions against North Korea,” she added.

She also added how Australia assisted the Philippine government in addressing the Marawi terrorist attack. “We saw this in relation to the contributions made by Australia and others to helping the Government of the Philippines after the attacks made on the city of Marawi by terrorists,” she said.

“The successful efforts by the Philippines to defeat terrorists in Marawi adds to our collective regional security, and we have to work towards closer cooperation on counter-terrorism measures,” she said.