Australia criticises China's air defence zone

2013-11-28 16:25
(Kyodo News, AP)

(Kyodo News, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australia refused on Thursday to back down from criticism of China's newly-declared air defence identification zone, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott proclaiming a right to "speak our mind".

Australia on Tuesday summoned China's ambassador to voice opposition to the zone over the East China Sea, which includes Japan-administered islands at the heart of a tense dispute between the two neighbours.

It prompted Beijing to blast the move as "irresponsible", demanding that Canberra immediately correct its "mistake" while warning that ties could be hurt.

But Abbott remained defiant on Thursday, saying Canberra would always speak out where Australian interests were concerned.

"Where we think Australia's values and interests have been compromised, I think it is important to speak our mind," he told reporters.
 
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop denied the United States, which has also refused to recognise the new zone, pressured Australia into its position.

China's biggest partner

"This is longstanding Australian policy to oppose any unilateral or coercive action by any country that could add to the tensions that currently exist in the East China Sea," she told reporters.

"We have a key stake, a key interest in ensuring that there is peace and stability in our region."

China is Australia's biggest trading partner and Abbott has pushed for deeper ties with the Asian giant.

But Washington remains Canberra's key ally, and last month Bishop said the new government intended to keep Japan as its "best friend" in Asia, as it works on relations with China.

Abbott said on Thursday he did not believe Canberra's position would have ramifications for free trade talks with China.

"China trades with us because it's in China's interests to trade with us," he said.

"I think China fully understands that on some issues we're going to take a different position to them."

Abbott in October said he hoped a long-negotiated free trade agreement with China could be concluded within a year.

Read more on:    tony abbott  |  china  |  australia  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.