July 16, 2020 / 3:41 AM / 22 days ago

Australia to continue to support freedom of navigation in South China sea, PM says

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a joint press conference held with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Admiralty House in Sydney, Australia, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia will continue to advocate “very strongly” for the freedom of navigation through the South China sea, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.

“Australia will continue to adopt a very consistent position,” Morrison told a media briefing in Canberra when asked if the country backed the position of the United States on the South China Sea.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the United States would support countries that believed China has violated their maritime claims in the South China Sea, but stressed doing so in multilateral and legal forums.

Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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