Australian Navy vessel tracked by Chinese military: report
Sydney, Australia, Jul 13 (EFE).- An Australian Navy vessel was tracked by the Chinese military on its passage through international waters claimed by Beijing, public broadcaster ABC reported Wednesday citing a Canberra defense source.
According to the anonymous source, frigate HMAS Parramatta was followed by a Chinese destroyer warship, a nuclear-powered attack submarine and aircraft, although the incident did not escalate.
“Formal challenges have occurred, such as telling us that we’re entering ‘China’s territorial waters,'” the source told the ABC.
The Australian Ministry of Defense has not answered reporters’ questions on the encounters, telling ABC that “for operational security reasons, Defence does not publicly disclose specific details of operations.”
In May, the HMAS Parramatta left Australia for Vietnam, arriving in the city of Da Nang on June 5, to continue more than a week later to the South Korean city of Busan.
On June 28, the Australian warship arrived at the Japanese port of Sasebo after participating in military exercises with local forces.
On its passage, the Australian ship sailed through the South China Sea and East China Sea, past Taiwan, a self-governed territory that Beijing sees as a rebel Chinese province, in a heavily militarized sea area claimed by China.
Despite the tensions between Australia and China, both countries have recently staged a timid diplomatic rapprochement with meetings between ministers, after years of tense relations due to a succession of political and economic disagreements. EFE