Beijing has indicated that it would not obey the recent international court hearing on the South China Sea. Australia has now asked China to accept the decision by The Hague and stop “bullying” other nations. Opposition Labor defense spokesman Stephen Conroy said that China must not bully other countries over the claims made by them for the sea.
“China’s been engaged in an aggressive and at times bullying performance, and has now been called out by the international court,” Conroy told Radio National on Wednesday.
On Monday, the international court in The Hague gave its verdict on the South China Sea dispute and said that China has no historical right over the South China Sea waters. The decision was dismissed by the government of Beijing, which said that it was a “farce” verdict.
China has already decided to ignore the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling as it has favored the Philippines and ruled against China.
In conversation with the ABC Radio, Aussie Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also said that China faces a critical situation as far as it being a super power is concerned. She warned the nation to obey The Hague verdict to avoid “serious transgression” else there would be “strong reputational costs.”
Bishop stated that Australia will put no halt to exercising its right to Freedom of Navigation. She also mentioned that the nation would not confirm whether patrolling would be conducted within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands of China. “Australia will continue to exercise our international law rights to Freedom of Navigation and overflight, and support the right of others to do so,” she said.
Bishop’s patrolling statement is contrary to the claims made by Conroy where he said that Australia was only pretending to patrol the sea. “The Government is continuing to pretend to the Australian people that it has an ongoing program of what is referred to as Freedom of Navigation operations in and around the South China Sea,” Conroy said.
“Australia should authorize its forces to both sail and fly over the areas of the South China Sea.”