Penny Wong says transparency needed to avoid 'unprecedented threats' in Indian Ocean
- Wong highlighted issues in the vast waters to Australia's west at the Indian Ocean Conference.
- Around 400 delegates from 34 countries took part in the event.
- Wong singled out China's rapid military build-up while advocating for greater transparency.
Wong said prosperity and peace are being challenged by a heightened risk of conflict over flare-ups and rising tensions in disputed areas.
"As expanding military powers take a greater interest in our region, we each need to sharpen our focus, on what our interests are, and how to work together to uphold them."
Calls for greater transparency to prevent conflict
The foreign minister singled out China's rapid military build-up while advocating for greater transparency.
The risk of military capabilities being used will be great without more active diplomacy, she said, warning research vessels are particularly vulnerable to becoming caught up in strategic plays.
Wong's comments come ahead of the ahead of the ASEAN-Australian Special Summit in Melbourne in March, with security expected to be high on the agenda.