05 June 2017

News Story: Global allies call for continued US patrols in South China Sea

By: Mike Yeo

SINGAPORE – Speakers at an Asian security summit have called for a continuation of U.S. Navy Freedom of Navigation patrols in the South China Sea, with the dispute still on participants’ minds even as other regional security challenges have made the news in recent weeks. 

In their respective speeches, the defense ministers of Australia and Japan have supported U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ assertion that the U.S. military will continue to operate in spaces allowed by international law in their respective speeches at the annual Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore. 

Organized by the International Institute of Strategic Studies or IISS (Asia), the event brings together government and non-governmental defense and security professionals from Asia and around the world to discuss regional events, and is the biggest such summit in the region. 

In his speech at the first plenary session on Saturday, Mattis had said that the U.S. military “ will continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows and demonstrate resolve through operational presence in the South China Sea and beyond,” adding that “our operations throughout the region are an expression of our willingness to defend both our interests and the freedoms enshrined in international law." 

Echoing that sentiment, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada reiterated her support for Freedom of Navigation Operations by the U.S. Navy in the South China Sea, saying that they “represent the U.S. resolve to maintain the open, free and peaceful international maritime order.” 

Read the full story at DefenseNews