Australia’s Defence Minister shared his US counterpart Chuck Hagel’s concern over China’s destabilization in the East Sea at the 13th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, according to The Sydney Morning Herald on June 2.

Defence Minister David Johnston was quoted by the paper as saying that “the government is ‘very concerned’ by China's ‘destabilisation’ of its neighbourhood in some of the strongest words yet over rising tensions in Asia.

The view was made after the US Defence Secretary accused China of "destabilising, unilateral" actions - a particular reference to its recent placing of an oil rig in Vietnamese waters, prompting maritime skirmishes between the two countries.

Asked if he shared Mr Hagel's view, Minister Johnston said: "I do to the extent that it is destabilisation … in a previously very successful region that has been able to deliver enormous amounts of prosperity to countries in the Asia-Pacific.'' He added: "This instability is unwarranted and quite damaging to the future economic prospects. So I do share Secretary Hagel's concerns", the paper reported.

Minister Johnston said Australia would try to persuade China there was "another path" that did not involve the risk of confrontation and escalation at sea.

Speaking from the Shangri-La Dialogue on June 1, Johnston said the US, Australia and Japan are very concerned that unilateral action is destabilising the region of the East Sea particularly, and East China Sea.-VNA