World / Asia-Pacific

Australia should not conduct 'missions' with US in South China Sea: former FM

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-03-04 09:49

CANBERRA - Former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has slammed suggestions that Australia should send warships to the South China Sea, labeling the federal Opposition's call as unnecessary and belligerent.

Labor has responded positively to requests from the United States for Australia to conduct "freedom of navigation" missions in the South China Sea, something that Carr said would only serve to raise tensions in the region.

He said Australia should not play as the United States's "deputy" in the South China Sea, in which Australia is not a relevant party to the "dispute."

"Do we want to be the only American friend, partner or ally to be donning a deputy sheriff's badge, glinting in the sunlight and getting into running these sorts of patrols?" Carr told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) late on Thursday night.

Defense analyst Catherine McGregor agreed with Carr, and said Australia had no business involving itself in the region.

"I just don't think that unilateral action testing these norms is required from Australia, as we're not a party to this dispute," she told the ABC.

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