Image source: Reuters/Australian Finanical Review

Australia and Indonesia consider joint patrols in South China Sea

31 October 2016

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“The Chinese are playing a pretty smart game of carrot and stick in the region,” said Hugh White, professor of strategic studies at Australian National University.

“Reports that Beijing is allowing Filipino fishermen back to the Scarborough Shoal after Duterte’s visit to Beijing suggests Beijing knows which pedals to push,” he added, referring to a strategic outcrop that had been off-limits since China seized it from the Philippines in 2012.

Mr White said Canberra and Jakarta had been careful to steer a middle course on the South China Sea and he doubted whether any joint patrols would challenge the 12 nautical mile boundary. But he said their establishment was a significant move as both countries were showing a willingness to stand up to Beijing without being too provocative.

“This shows Australia and Indonesia doing something they have seldom done in the past — working together on a broader strategic issue affecting the region,” he added.

Read the full article Australia and Indonesia consider joint patrols in South China Sea published in Australian Financial Review.

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