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澳大利亚:全力支持美军南海行动

10/28/2015 00:05| 发布者: dw545644| 查看: 4965| 评论: 0|原作者: dw545644

The defence minister, Marise Payne, says Australia supports but is not involved in US maneuvers near artificial islands China has built as part of a territorial claim
Defence minister Marise Payne
Defence minister Marise Payne during Australia-US ministerial consultations in Boston on 13 October. She says all states have a right under international law to freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. Photograph: Faith Ninivaggi/Reuters
Shalailah Medhora
Tuesday 27 October 2015 07.15 GMT Last modified on Tuesday 27 October 2015 14.19 GMT
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Australia is not involved in US naval activity in the South China Sea, but strongly supports the US policy of conducting freedom of navigation operations, the defence minister, Marise Payne, said.

The US navy on Tuesday confirmed that its guided missile destroyer, USS Lassen, had sailed within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China as part of the country’s territorial claim in the highly disputed area.


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Payne released a statement on Tuesday that said Australia “is not involved in the current United States activity” in the sea.

“It is important to recognise that all states have a right under international law to freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight, including in the South China Sea,” she said. “Australia strongly supports these rights.”

Freedom of navigation is codified in the United Nations convention on the law of the sea.

The operation was aimed at strengthening the US’s assertion that it has a right to maneuver through the South China Sea, one of the world’s busiest sea lanes.

“They say they don’t take sides in the territorial dispute,” security expert from the Lowy Institute thinktank Euan Graham told ABC TV. “They’re not talking about who owns the particular islands. They’re saying they have a legal right to freight in the waters around there. It’s about proving the legal point that they have the right to operate here.”

China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines all have claims or outposts in the South China Sea.

A large amount of Australian freight passes through the region, making the diplomatic row between two of its largest trading partners an uncomfortable one.


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“Australia has a legitimate interest in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, unimpeded trade and freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea,” Payne said. “Approximately 60% of Australia’s exports pass through the South China Sea.”


China is working to verify reports that the USS Lassen had entered the 12-mile zone.

“If true, we advise the US to think again and before acting, not act blindly or make trouble out of nothing,” the foreign minister, Wang Yi is quoted by his ministry as saying.

A US defence official has told Reuters that the freedom of navigation operations could become “a regular occurrence”.

An article in the Australian newspaper in June suggested that Australia was considering conducting overflight operations in the region, but Payne’s predecessor, Kevin Andrews, said Canberra and Washington had had no such discussions.

“The Australian government has not had formal talks with the United States on freedom of navigation missions in the South China Sea,” a spokeswoman said at the time. “Minister Andrews has met with [US defence] secretary Carter twice and the expansion of current operations or new missions in the South China sea was not discussed.”

Payne did not address the question of whether Australia had been asked to participate or was likely to be asked in the future, saying only that Australia “continues to cooperate closely with the United States and other regional partners on maritime security”.

Graham said that Australian freedom of navigation operations should not be a contentious because the operations are lawful and do not amount to muscle-flexing or gunboat diplomacy.

“There shouldn’t be any comeback from Beijing on that,” he said.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/27/australia-strongly-supports-us-activity-in-south-china-sea-says-marise-payne




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