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    US Navy personnel looks at Philippine Navy vessel BRP Ramon Alcaraz during the bilateral maritime exercise between the Philippine Navy and US Navy dubbed Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT 2014) aboard the USS John S. McCain in the South China Sea near waters claimed by Beijing on June 28, 2014

    Australian, Chinese Militaries Hold 'Blunt' Discussion Over South China Sea

    © AFP 2019 / NOEL CELIS/POOL
    Asia & Pacific
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    Military officials from Australia and China recently exchanged “robust,” “direct," and "blunt” remarks during a discussion on their respective territorial claims in the South China Sea.

    The discussion took place between Australian defense officials and General the chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, China Cheat Sheets reports.

    Talks got particularly heated when the two parties got into China’s island-building spree which Australia accuses China of using to make wider claims to the area. China raised tension by building artificial islands across the area including one with an air strip. China has not slowed down the construction despite repeated promises to do so and has stated it will any refuse third-party resolutions even as it fights a legal case over the issue filed by the Philippines.

    Beijing warned Australia as well as the United States not to send ships which have been conducting “freedom of navigation” drills in order to challenge China's claim to nearly the entire South China Sea, a lucrative waterway that sees $5 trillion worth of goods shipped through each year.

    Legal experts believe Manila has a strong chance of winning the case based after the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal’s rejection of China’s arguments in the hearing. The court in The Hague is now entering deliberations and says they will make a ruling by 2016, the China Cheat Sheets noted.

    However, it is unlikely for a ruling in favor of the Philippines to be enforced. However, the decision could put China in a difficult position on the world stage. The decision will mark the first time an international court has made a ruling on the South China Sea issue.


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    territorial dispute, South China Sea, China Cheat Sheets, Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Australia, China
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