Australia, China envoys to India spar over South China Sea

A Twitter spat between the Chinese and Australian envoys to India over the South China Sea highlighted regional tensions as China’s refusal to abide by the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea) arbitral award, and its recent aggressive actions in the area, have raised concerns among several countries in its neighbourhood.

Responding to Australian high commissioner Barry O’Farrell’s remarks on Thursday expressing concern over Chinese actions, Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong tweeted, “…China’s territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests are in conformity with international law, including UNCLOS. It’s clear who safeguard peace and stability and who destabilise and provoke escalation in the region.”

O’Farrell responded, “I would hope then you follow the 2016 South China Sea arbitral award which is final and binding under international law, and also generally refrain from actions that unilaterally alter the status quo.”

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