China has issued a blunt warning against Australia, asking the nation to keep itself out of the South China Sea dispute.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop commented on China’s decision of slamming The Hague verdict. She said on Wednesday that the Asian nation must respect the UN ruling. “To ignore it would be a serious international transgression,” she added. Bishop also confirmed that Australia will continue patrolling the Sea while enjoying its freedom of navigation exercises.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang used a threatening tone, which comes as a reaction to what the Australian minister commented. He said that Bishop’s response towards China on the tribunal verdict was inappropriate. “To be frank, the statement by Foreign Minister Bishop took me by surprise,” he said, according to the Australia Financial Review. “We are firmly opposed to these remarks and have lodged solemn representations with the Australian side.”
The Permanent Court of Arbitration gave a verdict on Tuesday that China has no right over the South China Sea and that its claims regarding the same had no legal basis. However, China has said that The Hague‘s decision is a plan against the nation. They said that the verdict has come as a result of American conspiracy.
The Chinese spokesperson said that Bishop’s declaration of continuing the patrolling might hamper bilateral relations. “Australia should not treat the illegal ruling from an illegal arbitration court as international law,” he said.
“Australia is not a party to the South China Sea issue. We hope Australia should firmly abide by the promise not to hold a position when there is a territorial dispute,” Lu added. “Carefully talk and cautiously behave. Australia should not do anything which will damage regional peace, stability and security as well as the relations between China and Australia.”
Meanwhile, Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne defended the nation’s foreign minister on Friday morning. According to the ABC, Payne said that a majority of observers found the ruling as final. “We call on the parties who are involved in that particular negotiation to abide by it,” she said. “We regard it as final.”