Australia makes a BIG move in its ongoing dispute with Beijing as it declares controversial islands AREN’T Chinese territory
- Australia filed a new declaration at the United Nations in New York on Friday
- They rejected the claims made by China to several parts of the South China Sea
- The declaration said claims to Spratly Islands and Parcel Islands were ‘invalid’
- This will anger Beijing as the relationship worsens between the two countries
The ongoing dispute with Beijing may worsen as Australia made a declaration at the UN that several disputed islands are not Chinese territory.
Australia filed a declaration at the United Nations in New York on Friday night and rejected claims made by China to parts of the South China Sea.
The declaration said China’s claims to the Spratly Islands and the Parcel Islands were ‘invalid’ as they were inconsistent with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
This move will likely anger Beijing as the relationship between the two countries continues to deteriorate, with China bringing in crippling trade sanctions and threatening consumer boycotts.
Australia filed a declaration at the United Nations in New York on Friday and rejected claims made by China to parts of the South China Sea (pictured, Chinese navy formation, including an aircraft carrier, on January 2, 2017 in the area)
The Woody Island (pictured) in the South China Sea where Beijing station eight warplanes
The declaration said Australia does not accept the assertion made by Beijing, who believes it claim to islands and parts of the South China Sea are recognised by the international community.
Tensions between the nations have escalated since Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an inquiry into the origins of the coronvirus pandemic.
Since then, China has brought in harsh trade tariffs which hit Australian farmers, including an 80 per cent tariff on barley.
‘The Australian Government rejects any claims by China that are inconsistent with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in particular, maritime claims that do not adhere to its rules on baselines, maritime zones and classification of features,’ the declaration said.
‘There is no legal basis for China to draw straight baselines connecting the outermost points of maritime features or ”island groups” in the South China Sea, including around the ”Four Sha” or ”continental” or ”outlying” archipelagos.
‘Australia rejects any claims to internal waters, territorial sea, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf based on such straight baselines.’
Australia said China cannot change the classification of a feature in the South China Sea under UNCLOS.
‘There is no legal basis for a maritime feature to generate maritime entitlements beyond those generated under UNCLOS by that feature in its natural state,’ it says.
The declaration said China’s claims to the Spratly Islands (pictured) and the Parcel Islands were ‘invalid’ as they were inconsistent with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
The move comes days before talks between Australia and the US at the annual AUSMIN talks, where it is expected China will be a focal point of discussion.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds are flying to Washington DC on Sunday and will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper.
‘Never has it been more important that we, as allies, sit down together and find every possible way to advance our shared interests,’ Senator Payne and Senator Reynolds wrote in The Weekend Australian on Saturday.
‘Sweeping and vague ”national security” legislation imposed on Hong Kong has undermined the rights, freedoms and futures of millions of people.
‘Coercive actions in the South China Sea, such as the escalation of disputes and militarisation of disputed features, continue to create tension that destabilise the region.
‘Cyber attacks are on the rise, while authoritarian governments imperil hopes for an open, interoperable, reliable and secure internet.’
The ministers foreshadowed Australia-US agreements to target infectious disease and disinformation, and to support regional economic recovery, increase military co-operation and enhance supply chains.
This move will likely anger Beijing as the relationship between the two countries continues to deteriorate, with China bringing in crippling trade sanctions and threatening consumer boycotts (pictured: Prime Minister Scott Morrison)