Envoys of China and Australia to India were found engaged in a war of words on Twitter over the former's provocative remark on the South China Sea. India's Chinese envoy Sun Weidong and his Australian counterpart Barry O'Farrell exchanged words on the Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.
The Twitter spat started with Sun offending to O'Farrell's remarks yesterday when the latter said highly concerned about "conduct" in the South China Sea and denied the region's "unlawful maritime statements" from China. As per a report in the Mint, the statement was made with reference to O'Farrell's meeting with Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar on Thursday.
Follow 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award: Australia to China
In the meeting, the Australian envoys had said, "Australia opposes any attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo (on the India-China border), which only serves to increase tension and the risk of instability." The Chinese envoy responded on Twitter and wrote, "Noted remarks by Australian HC to India on #SouthChinaSea disregarding facts. #China's territorial sovereignty & maritime rights &interests are in conformity w/ int'l law incl UNCLOS. It's clear who safeguard peace & stability & who destablize & provoke escalation in the region."
The Australia envoy reminded his Chinese counterpart of the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award and responded, "Thank you @China_Amb_India. I would hope then you follow the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award which is final and binding under international law, and also generally refrains from actions that unilaterally alter the status quo."
Amidst the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, the relationship between Australia and China has reached a new low. Chinese companies have heavily invested in Australia and export billion dollars of good.
The aggressive fortification by China in the South China Sea has prompted sharp responses including Japan, Australia among others. Moreover, Australia has been critical of China's new national security law for Hong Kong. In order to counter Chinese aggression, Australia has announced a 40% boost to his country's defence budget over the next decade with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region.