Former Chief of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) Angus Houston has underscored the importance of ensuring maritime freedom and safety of navigation in the East Sea.
China's illegal construction in the East Sea
During the Australia-US-Japan security cooperation conference in Canberra on January 31, Houston, who led the ADF from 2005-2011, also called for solutions to territorial disputes in line with international law and preventing unilateral actions that threaten regional peace and stability.
Commenting on militarised islands, the former official warned of the likelihood of China’s permanent presence in the East Sea and expansion of its military presence to the south near Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
He urged the US to maintain strong presence in the Indian Ocean and Pacific.
Meanwhile, former Japanese Defence Minister Satoshi Morimoto also expressed concern over policies towards Asia-Pacific under the new US administration led by President Donald Trump.