China calls Aus­tralia pol­icy ‘ir­re­spon­si­ble’

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS -

BEI­JING » China urged Aus­tralia on Thurs­day to re­frain from mak­ing “ir­re­spon­si­ble re­marks” af­ter Can­berra is­sued a for­eign pol­icy pa­per cit­ing se­cu­rity risks in the dis­puted South China Sea caused by Bei­jing’s ac­tiv­i­ties there.

A Chi­nese for­eign min­istry spokesman said Aus­tralia should not take sides be­cause it isn’t di­rectly in­volved in the ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes.

Ear­lier Thurs­day, Aus­tralia re­leased its first de­tailed pol­icy doc­u­ment in 14 years on its na­tional in­ter­ests and diplo­macy.

It said Aus­tralia is “par­tic­u­larly con­cerned by the un­prece­dented pace and scale of China’s ac­tiv­i­ties” in the South China Sea.

China claims vir­tu­ally the en­tire South China Sea, pit­ting it against Tai­wan and four South­east Asian na­tions with over­lap­ping claims in the wa­ter­way, which strad­dles busy in­ter­na­tional sea lanes and po­ten­tially has vast un­der­sea de­posits of oil and gas.

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