Australia stated to the United Nations that China’s sovereignty position in the South China Sea is not in conformity with international law and has challenged China after the United States denied the legitimacy of the nine-dash line in the South China Sea.
Earlier this month, the United States formally rejected China’s claim for sovereignty over most of the South China Sea. China reacted strongly to this, saying that the US’s position had increased tensions in the region.
Australia sent a letter to UN Secretary General Guterres on July 24, stating Australia’s position on the sovereignty dispute in the South China Sea.
The nine-dash line has no legal basis
Australia rejects China’s claim of “historical rights or maritime rights established in the historical practice of the South China Sea” and points out that China’s sovereignty requirements for disputed areas in the South China Sea do not comply with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or the International Court of Arbitration.
Australia also questioned China’s claim that its sovereignty over the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands has been widely recognized by the international community. In the letter, Australia cited as an example that both Vietnam and the Philippines opposed China’s statement.
China claims that it has sovereignty over almost all waters of the South China Sea, while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam have stated that they have sovereignty over some islands.
Taiwan is the legal successor of the Republic of China, and the territory of the Republic of China shows that it has sovereignty over most of the South China Sea.
The South China Sea has a large amount of energy resources, and it is also one of the most important sea passages in the world. The value of goods passing through here is as high as 3 trillion US dollars every year.
In recent years, China has built seven artificial islands in this area, built military airfields, installed radars, and established other military facilities on them and China claimed that these bases are built for peaceful purposes.
US and Australia challenge the CCP’s militarization of the South China Sea
Australia has always insisted on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, and advocates that all claimant countries resolve their disputes in accordance with international law.
US Secretary of State Pompeo formally expounded the US policy stance on the South China Sea this month and said that China’s claim to the sovereignty of this area lacks sufficient legal basis and intimidated and bullied neighboring countries in this sea area for many years.
The Chinese mission to the United Nations has not yet responded to Australia’s statement, but it stated earlier this month that the US’s position “ignores history and facts”.
Pompeo’s speech is a major adjustment to the United States’ long-standing neutral policy on the South China Sea issue. Analysts believe that this change shows that the United States will take a more confrontational stance against China in this region.
For a long time, the United States has opposed the militarization of the South China Sea and has often sent warships there to ensure freedom of navigation in this area.
The US-Australia annual meeting will be held at the end of the month
The Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence plan to travel to Washington to attend the US-Australia annual meeting scheduled for July 28.
This will be Australia’s first face-to-face meeting with US officials since it closed its borders during the pandemic. Australian Foreign Minister Payne and Defense Minister Reynolds issued a statement on Saturday that the Australia-US annual meeting was held at a “critical moment.”
Relations between Australia and China have deteriorated significantly recently, and the two sides have differences on many issues. What irritates Beijing most is Australia’s call for the international community to launch an independent international investigation into the source of the new corona virus. The virus pandemic first occurred in Wuhan and later spread to the world, causing huge economic and life losses to all countries in the world.
Earlier this month, five Australian warships met and confronted Chinese naval vessels in the South China Sea. After the incident, Australian officials deliberately downplayed the incident, stating that “all interactions with foreign warships were conducted in a safe and professional manner during the entire deployment process.”
According to ABC reports, the Australian warship did not enter the waters within 12 nautical miles of the disputed island. The Australian warship was heading to the Philippine Sea to participate in a joint US-Japan-Australia military exercise, and then to Hawaii to participate in another US-led joint military exercise.
A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Defense said that the Australian and Chinese warships had conducted “conventional professional naval exchanges” and “no confrontation occurred.”
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