Chinese Official Warns Australia On Navy Movements
China has urged Australia to notify them of its navy movements in the contested South China Sea and East China Sea, with a senior Chinese official cautioning that the small incident between militaries could escalate and damage ties.
Report says the same Australian vessel, Toowoomba, began joint patrols with the Philippines in the South China Sea for the first time on Saturday, amid rising tensions between Beijing and Manila over a disputed shoal.
Speaking in Sydney, the head of the international department of the Chinese Communist Party, Liu Jianchao, said the sonar incident took place in waters where there is a dispute between Japan and China, and questioned why the Australian navy was there.
Liu, who denied China had harmed Australian navy personnel, called for “any kind of pre-consultations or notification” to prevent misunderstandings from happening between the two militaries.
Report says he was speaking in response to questions at an event hosted by the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Liu said the presence of Australia’s navy vessels appeared to be a statement about China’s policies in the South China Sea. “The reason why the Australian naval ships were there was really to contain China so that is the message that we have been getting”, he said.
Liu said he hoped Australia could revise its screening of Chinese investment on national security factors.