Canberra has confirmed reports of a sighting of a Chinese spy vessel off the Australian coast, with officials condemning the “dangerous” action, saying Beijing was within its rights to sail in international waters
Prime Minister Scott Morrison accepted that a Chinese surveillance ship spent some time off the coast of its country earlier this year, said Friday, adding that the ship had locate a “Very serious situation” in the Indo-Pacific, even saying that Beijing did not violate any maritime law in the process.
“I think the Chinese Navy presence – which we knew about, and they were keeping a close eye on us and we were keeping a close eye on them – the importance of this is to highlight to the Australians that there is a very serious The Situation of the Indo-Pacific,” Morrison told reporters.
They have every right to be where they are. We knew they were there. They are able to live there under international maritime law. But do not think for a moment that we were not keeping an eye on them because they were trying to keep an eye on us.
Morrison also said he expected Beijing to give his country similar leeway to operate its ships in disputed areas of the South China Sea, where competing territorial claims have fueled long-standing tensions between China and several other regional states. Have given. ,
The Daily Telegraph was the first to report the presence of the Chinese spy ship, which it claimed had circled the coast for a period of three weeks between August and September.
Defense Minister Peter Dutton confirmed that deadline, telling the media on Friday that the ship remained out of Australian waters and did not break any laws. However, he later said that the deployment was “Dangerous,” And said it was contrary to Beijing’s rhetoric about promoting peace and security in the Asia-Pacific.
High-level comments on the spy vessel come amid growing hostility between China and Australia, with Canberra now reportedly considering a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics to be held in Beijing – though officials are said to be making Awaiting Washington’s decision before. their own. Discussion of a possible boycott was prompted by criticisms over China’s alleged human rights abuses, namely against its Uyghur Muslim minority. In addition to the Olympic dispute, other tensions between Australia and China have been driven by a long standing trade dispute, which has seen China impose restrictions on Australian coal imports.
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