‘Disregards Facts’: China on Australian Envoy’s South China Remark
Barry O’Farrell had said that Australia is deeply concerned by destabilising actions in the South China Sea.
Coming down heavily on the remarks of the Australian High Commissioner about ‘destabilising activity’ in the South China Sea, Ambassador Sun Weidong on Friday, 31 July, said: “It's clear who safeguards peace and stability and who destabilises and provokes escalation in the region.”
Taking to Twitter, Weidong added that the Australian High Commissioner to India, Barry O’Farrell’s, comments ‘disregarded facts’ and said that: “China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests are in conformity with international law including United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”
Responding on Twitter, O’Farrell said that he hoped China would follow the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award.
“I would hope then you follow the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award which is final and binding under international law, and also generally refrain from actions that unilaterally alter the status quo,” he said.
In an interview to ANI, on 30 July, the Australian HC had urged “restraint” at the LAC, adding that Australia supported India’s moves towards de-escalation.
“In my meeting with EAM today, I told him Australia opposes any attempts to unilaterally alter status-quo which only increase tension and instability,” he reportedly had said.
He added that Australia remained “deeply concerned by actions in the South China Sea that are destabilising and could provoke escalation” and that Australia had launched a note with the United Nations secretary general, refusing China’s unlawful maritime claims in the region.
Last week, Weidong had taken on the British envoy to India for comments made about the border dispute involving India, saying the remarks were “rife with mistakes & false allegations” and that the two countries had “wisdom & capability to properly handle differences.”
(With inputs from ANI)
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