17 JUL 2016

Post date: Jul 17, 2016 12:55:38 PM

Bishop surprised by Chinese's reaction to South China Sea ruling

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is surprised China was upset by her remarks after an international court ruling on the South China Sea.

17 JUL 2016 - 10:06 AM  

Australia's military will do what it has always done in the South China Sea and doesn't intend to be provocative, Julie Bishop says.

The foreign minister was surprised by China's angry reaction to her comments over an international court ruling on the South China Sea.

"I'm surprised that China would be surprised that I'm urging peace, restraint and abiding by international laws," she told ABC TV on Sunday, after China formally protested Australia's "wrong remarks".

China takes offence at Bishop's comments

15 JUL 2016 - 7:11AM

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China has formally protested against Australia's "wrong remarks" about the Hague's South China Sea ruling.

Source: AAP

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is standing firm after China issued a formal protest about her comments on an international court ruling on the South China Sea.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague concluded this week that China had no historic claim to the waters and it had violated the Philippines' economic and sovereign rights.

China rejected the ruling, having declined to participate in the case, saying the court had no jurisdiction.

Ms Bishop urged all South China Sea claimants to resolve their disputes peacefully, saying Australia would keep exercising its international rights to freedom of navigation and overflight, and support the right of others to do the same.

She also told ABC radio on Wednesday that China's reputation would suffer as a result of the court ruling, insisting relations with the international community were crucial to its rise as a superpower.

"To ignore it would be a serious international transgression," she said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Thursday said China had formally protested against Australia's "wrong remarks", and that China hopes Australia does nothing to harm regional peace and stability.

"Honestly speaking, I'm a bit shocked at Bishop's comments," Mr Lu said.

Australia should join the majority of the international community in not taking the result of the "illegal outcome" of the case as international law.

"We hope that Australia can set more store by international law, and not treat it as a game," Mr Lu added, repeating that China respected freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law.

In response to his comments, Ms Bishop issued a statement on Thursday night reiterating that Australia "continues to exercise its legal right of freedom of navigation and overflight," and supporting the right of other countries to do the same.

"Australia stands with the international community in calling for both sides to treat the arbitral ruling as final and binding," she said.

"Peace, stability and continued prosperity in East Asia requires the preservation of an order defined by rule of law for both great and smaller powers. Such an order is in the interests of all countries and has served the region remarkably well."

China claims much of the South China Sea, through which more than $US5 trillion ($A6.6 trillion) of trade moves annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims.

17 JUL 2016 - 10:10AM