Australia criticizes China for violating UN maritime laws with live fire drills

Australia has accused China of violating global peace and security rules by launching missiles near Taiwan.
Defense Secretary Richard Marles told Nine Newspapers today that China has deliberately violated the Convention on the Law of the Sea by: hold military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

The live-fire exercises by the Chinese military came in the wake of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles speaks in a plenary session at the 19th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-la Dialogue, Asia's premier defense forum, in Singapore.
Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Richard Marles crushed China’s military exercises in the Taiwan Strait. (AP)

Marles said China has violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea by launching ballistic missiles.

“The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is a fully understood treaty and an accepted part of the architecture of the global rules-based order,” said Marles,

“How it applies to the Taiwan Strait is also clear. And it applies to the Taiwan Strait as well.”

His comments contradict China’s claim that the strait is not international waters.

Defense expert Malcolm Davis, of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said: Weekend today this morning it was important for the federal government to support Taiwan.

The island territory of Taiwan has been claimed by China since 1949. (Nine)

He said Taiwan was a liberal democracy, a major manufacturer of technological components, and occupied a strategically vital position in the Asia-Pacific region.

“I think it’s important for us to strengthen relations with Taiwan … and also to recognize that the Taiwanese people have the right to choose their own future,” Davis said.

China began threatening military exercises off the coast of Taiwan on Thursday, lasting until tomorrow.

Some missiles were sent over Taiwan itself, Chinese officials told state media — a significant increase in China’s threat from the island.

In this photo, released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a missile is launched from an unspecified location in China during long-range fire drills on Thursday, August 4. (AP)

Secretary of State Penny Wong reprimanded China yesterday for launching ballistic missiles.

She said the military exercises were “disproportionate and destabilizing”.

China accuses US of ‘navigation bullying’

The federal government has not supported or criticized Pelosi’s controversial visit to Taipei on Wednesday.

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