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As a maritime trading nation, Australia’s geostrategic interest in the Philippines derives largely from the volume of maritime trade that transits between Australia and Northeast Asia, through waters controlled by or adjacent to the Philippines. This also helps to explain Australia’s stance on freedom of navigation in the South China/West Philippines Sea. A large proportion of Australia’s refined petroleum imports comes from Korea, Japan and China, and transit through the Sulu and Celebes Seas. These shipments are threatened by piracy and terrorism linked to the ongoing Marawi crisis.
For this reason, it is in Australia’s interest for the Philippines to have an effective and accountable security sector and a stable well-functioning government that upholds the rule of law.
Continue reading the article on The Diplomat website.
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Imelda Deinla is a Research Fellow at the School of Regulation and Global Governance, College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University. Her area of expertise is on rule of law and ASEAN integration, legal pluralism, justice and conflict in Mindanao, Philippines. She recently published a book, The Development of the Rule of Law in ASEAN: the state and regional integration (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
Rory MacNeil is currently completing his MA thesis in International Relations at the ANU. His research focus is on petro-politics in the Asia Pacific region. He also works as a Research Assistant at the ANU Philippines Project.