State-owned Chinese publication The Global Times has published provocative article in response to Australia’s increased military surveillance over the South China Sea.
The English-language media outlet sent a cautionary warning to the Australian military that if it continued its “freedom of navigation operation” over disputed maritime territories in the region there may be consequences.
“The Chinese people cannot understand why the Australian military would get involved, and to be honest, they have less patience to prevent a flare up,” the translated editorial read, according to The ABC.
“Australian military planes better not regularly come to the South China Sea to ‘get involved’, and especially don’t test China’s patience by flying to close to China’s islands.
“Everyone has always been careful, but it would be a shame if one day a plane fell from the sky and it happened to be Australian.”
The threat relates to the ramped up RAAF efforts over a disputed area of the South China Sea, in which the Chinese have built controversial artificial islands.
In November, a BBC journalist recorded an Australian crewman of an RAAF P-3 Orion aircraft telling the Chinese navy it was patrolling the air space.
“China navy, China navy,” the airman said.
“We are an Australian aircraft exercising international freedom of navigation rights, in international airspace in accordance with the international civil aviation convention, and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Over.”
The surveillance, which was a routine maritime patrol in the region as part of Operation Gateway, drew no response from the Chinese navy at the time.
Along with the inflammatory comments The Global Times reminds Australia, the two countries should be “friendly nations” and should have a “friendly relationship”.
The ABC has more.
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