Japan, Australian leaders express concern over East, South China Sea

Japan, Australian leaders express concern over East, South China Sea

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Tokyo / Sydney: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison shared serious concerns over various moves in the East and South China Sea in their video meeting on Thursday, a Japanese government spokesman said.
Asked at a media briefing that the concerns of the two leaders expressed at the meeting were directed to China, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Noki Okada declined to elaborate.
Australia also did not choose any country, although the meeting has taken place after several incidents involving China.
“They expressed serious concern about recent negative developments in the South China Sea, including the militarization of disputed features, the dangerous and coercive use of Coastguard ships and its maritime militias,” an Australian government statement said.
In April, Vietnam lodged an official protest with China, stating that it was attacked by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near the islands in the disputed South China Sea after a Vietnamese fishing boat sank.
China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea within the U-shaped “nine-dash line” on its maps, which is not recognized by its neighbors, many of which have overlapping claims.
The US has accused China of pushing its presence in the South China Sea, while other contenders have been pre-occupied with the coronovirus epidemic.

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