Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Thursday said China had formally protested against Australia’s “wrong remarks”.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague concluded this week that China had no historic claim to the South China Sea, saying it had violated the Philippines’ economic and sovereign rights, and Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is maintaining her grounds that the law prevails, SBS reported.
China has since issued a formal protest about her comments on the international court ruling.
Asia’s most dominant power says it has rejected the court’s ruling and will no longer take part in the case, adding that The Hague has no legal jurisdiction to handle the matter.
Ms Bishop urged all South China Sea claimants to resolve their disputes peacefully, saying Australia would keep exercising its international rights to freedom of navigation and overflight, and support the right of others to do the same.
Speaking with ABC radio on Wednesday, Julie says China will suffer for what it does or refuse to do after the ruling. In her opinion, the country’s reputation would suffer depending on what choice its leaders make. She also added a reminder that China needs the international community as much as it desires to hold on to its rising influence in world affairs.
“To ignore it would be a serious international transgression,” she said.
According to the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang on Thursday says, China had tendered a formal protest against Australia for taking biased decisions in the case. He maintained that Julie’s “wrong remarks” cannot be accepted, and that China hopes Australia does nothing to harm regional peace and stability in words or deeds.
“Honestly speaking, I’m a bit shocked at Bishop’s comments,” Mr Lu said.
“Australia should join the majority of the international community in not taking the result of the “illegal outcome” of the case as international law.
“We hope that Australia can set more store by international law, and not treat it as a game,” Mr Lu added, repeating that “China respected freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law.”
In response to his comments, Ms Bishop issued a statement on Thursday night reiterating that Australia “continues to exercise its legal right of freedom of navigation and overflight, and supporting the right of other countries to do the same.
“Australia stands with the international community in calling for both sides to treat the arbitral ruling as final and binding,” she said.
“Peace, stability and continued prosperity in East Asia requires the preservation of an order defined by rule of law for both great and smaller powers. Such an order is in the interests of all countries and has served the region remarkably well.”
China claims much of the South China Sea, through which more than $US5 trillion ($A6.6 trillion) of trade moves annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims, the report adds.