The Philippines, Australia, Japan, and the U.S. will Conduct Naval Exercise in South China Sea

Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States will conduct a Maritime Cooperative Activity (MCA) in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) today, April 7, 2024. The Australian Ministry of Defence, the Philippine Department of National Defense, and the U.S. Defense Department issued a joint statement confirming they will conduct the exercise on April 6th.

The statements said the four countries “uphold the right to freedom of navigation and overflight, and respect for maritime rights under international law, reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. (UNCLOS).

Naval/maritime and air forces units from the four countries will participate in the MCA “in a manner that is consistent with international law as well as domestic laws and rules of respective nations.”

The four countries will stand with all nations in safeguarding the rules-based international order that is the “foundation for a peaceful and stable Indo-Pacific region.” They also reaffirmed their positions regarding the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal Award as the “final and legally binding decision on the parties to the dispute.”