BEIJING: China hopes that Australia acts and speaks with caution on the South China Sea and that its words and actions on the matter match each other, a senior Chinese officer told the visiting head of the Australian Defence Force.
Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, has previously drawn criticism from China for running surveillance flights over disputed islands in the South China Sea and supporting U.S. freedom of navigation exercises there.
Meeting in Beijing, Vice Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission Fan Changlong told Australia’s Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin that China hopes to push forward the healthy and stable development of bilateral military ties, China’s Defence Ministry said late on Wednesday.
China “hopes that on the South China Sea issue the Australian side can speak and act cautiously, and that its words and deeds match”, the ministry paraphrased Fan as saying.
He did not elaborate.
China claims almost the entire South China Sea where about US$5 trillion sea-borne trade passes annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims on parts of the sea, which is believed to have rich deposits of oil and gas.
Full article: China urges Australia to be ‘cautious’ on South China Sea (Channel NewsAsia)