Australia has expressed concerns over the South China Sea policy paper especially with concerns about the “pace and scale” of China’s activities in the disputed zone.
However, Chinese authorities have also criticised Australia for making “irresponsible remarks” over the policy paper which is part of a wide-ranging document setting out Canberra’s foreign engagement strategy.
According to Lu Kang, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Australia had in the past repeatedly pledged not to take sides over the South China Sea.
“Australia is not directly involved in the South China Sea issue,” he said at a briefing.
“So we would like to advise Australia to abide by its commitment and stop making irresponsible remarks on the South China Sea issue.”
Reacting to the comments by China, Julie Bishop, Australian Foreign Minister, said she had received feedback from Chinese officials that “they respect the stand we have taken”.
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