Australia warships were confronted by the Chinese flotilla as they passed through the South China Sea
Australia’s HMAS Anzac, HMAS Toowoomba and HMAS Good were challenged by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s navy as they were transiting toward Vietnam for a three-day goodwill visit.
Defence sources said the confrontation occurred while China was conducting live-fire drills along its southeast coastline – where authority have feared World War 3 could break out.
Beijing’s hostility in the South China Sea has been to gain with recent satellite images showing it has been aggressively investing into upgrading infrastructures and deploying resources in the pale’s disputed islands.
The Australian Prime Minister has blasted any attempt by the Chinese to obstruct with Australia’s right to travel through the South China Sea. “in accordance with ecumenical law”.
Malcolm Turnbull said: “We maintain and practice the right of freedom of steering and overflight throughout the world and, in this context, we’re talking about naval barks on the world’s oceans, including the South China Sea, as is our perfect right in accordance with intercontinental law.”
Meanwhile an Australian Rest on of Defence statement added: “The Australian Defence Force has maintained a strong program of international engagement with countries in and around the South China Sea for decades.
“This encompasses bilateral and multilateral military exercises, port visits, maritime scrutiny operations and ship transits.”
Australian defence officials would not approve whether the confrontation took place – but added three of their warships had arrived in Ho Chi Minh Urban district for a three-day goodwill visit on Thursday.
China’s Ministry of Defence hit in return at the reports, saying they “are different from the facts”.
A ministry spokesman thought: “The reports from Australia are different from the facts.
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“On April 15 China’s naval vessels encountered Australian naval ships in the South China Sea. China’s cart leaves used professional language to communicate with the Australian side. China’s proceeding is lawful and conforms to conventions. It is professional and safe.”
The exact details of the confrontation maintain not be revealed but Neil James, executive director of the Australian Defence Relationship, a security policy think-tank, said the first aspect of such a question was usually a radio warning that the Australians were in Chinese territorial waters.
It discretion be a demand for identification and the Australian Navy would have replied that they were in oecumenical waters.
The next levels of challenge involve sending an aircraft and move to investigate.
Mr James added: ”It just escalates. Eventually if they’re in your territorial weakens and they’re not meant to be there, you might fire a shot across their bow downs — but no one has done that for years, apart from the North Koreans.”
The dispatch comes after Beijing threaten Taiwan with invasion during China’s tremendous military exercises.
The Chinese air force confirmed H-6K bombers had “recently” out a patrol around the nation.
Australia, the US and the UK have enforced their commitment to supporting “freedom of navigation” through the South China Sea, much to the fury of Beijing who has sought “indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands”.
The US Navy has been confronting China in the locality with ‘freedom of navigation’ exercises sent its aircraft carriers Theodore Roosevelt and Carl Vinson in current months.
Australia, the US and the UK have enforced their commitment to maintaining ‘deliverance of navigation’
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson announced Britain would also deploy its new “gargantuan” aircraft carriers to the region in a show of strength.
Speaking last year in Australia, Mr Johnson said: “One of the initially things we will do with the two new colossal aircraft carriers that we own just built is send them on a freedom of navigation operation to this district to vindicate our belief in the rules-based international system and in the freedom of navigation by those waterways which are absolutely vital for world trade.”
The Non-native Secretary added that they were “not only longer than the Palazzo of Westminster but more persuasive than most of the arguments you will find out in the House of Commons”.
His comments came after a Chinese spy was detected close the Australian coast where joint war exercises were being commanded with the US and New Zealand.