Australia backs US, rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims

WION Web Team
Canberra, Australia Published: Jul 25, 2020, 12:20 PM(IST)

A file photo of an island in South China Sea Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Australia on Thursday said there was "no legal basis" to several disputed Chinese claims in the sea including those related to the construction of artificial islands on small shoals and reefs.

Australia has rejected Beijing's territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea in a formal declaration to the United Nations. And in doing so, it has aligned itself more closely with Washington in the escalating row.

Australia on Thursday said there was "no legal basis" to several disputed Chinese claims in the sea including those related to the construction of artificial islands on small shoals and reefs.

"Australia rejects China's claim to 'historic rights' or 'maritime rights and interests' as established in the 'long course of historical practice' in the South China Sea," the declaration read.

"There is no legal basis for China to draw straight baselines connecting the outermost points of maritime features or 'island groups' in the South China Sea, including around the 'Four Sha' or 'continental' or 'outlying' archipelagos."

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