THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
SOUTH CHINA SEA TRIBUNAL DECISION
Last night, a Tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague issued a unanimous ruling in the arbitration instituted by the Philippines in relation to the South China Sea.
Labor welcomes the decision. It brings greater certainty and clarity to the application of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the context of the South China Sea.
It is important that all nations respect and abide by the ruling. The Tribunal's findings are binding and final.
We urge all South China Sea claimants to resolve competing claims peacefully and in accordance with international law.
The focus now should be on de-escalating tensions and resolving disputes. No country should engage in unilateral action which seeks to change the status quo.
Labor continues to support an international rules based system, including in the South China Sea.
As a maritime trading nation, Australia has a direct interest in freedom of navigation and overflight, and the maintenance of the international arrangements that protect those rights.
Over US$5 trillion in annual global trade and about 60 per cent of Australia’s exports pass through the South China Sea.
WEDNESDAY, 13 JULY 2016