China Denies Australia’s Allegations About Sonar Use By Chinese Warship Against Divers

The Chinese government is accusing the federal government of “making trouble” by making “rude and irresponsible” comments about a sonar mishap that injured Australian naval divers last week.

Beijing has rejected Canberra’s explanation of the maritime incident involving two warships off the coast of Japan last Tuesday.

Image for representation purpose only

They hope relevant parties will avoid causing problems in front of China’s doorsteps and work with China to maintain the momentum of developing and growing China-Australia ties, stated the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning overnight.

The Australian defence minister, Richard Marles, asserted on Saturday that sonar pulses fired by a Chinese battleship in international waters off Japan injured three divers from the HMAS Toowoomba.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told Sky News on Monday that he was concerned about the incident, which he termed hazardous and reckless. The Prime Minister stated that Australia has lodged “strong objections.”

However, the Global Times, a state tabloid newspaper run by the Chinese Communist Party, carried an overnight denial via the national defence ministry spokesperson Wu Qian, who claimed that China had filed its concerns with Australia.

Wu said in a statement released by the Global Times that they encourage the Australian side to honour the facts, prevent rude and irresponsible allegations toward China, participate in endeavours that are beneficial in boosting mutual trust, and establish a positive atmosphere to foster better bilateral relations as well as military-to-military ties.

The Chinese vessel … maintained a safe distance from the Australian ship and did not engage in any kind of activity that might have impacted the Australian diving operations.
Per a transcript posted on the official website of China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, spokeswoman Mao Ning had a similar response.

The Chinese military is highly disciplined and continually operates professionally in compliance with legal standards and international common practices, she went on to say.

Albanese informed Sky that Australia submitted objections through all possible channels but declined to reveal whether he’d mentioned it with Xi personally, saying he wouldn’t discuss the content of private conversations. He argued that protocol was essential for maintaining open discussions with foreign leaders.

He said he could guarantee that they voiced these concerns in an acceptable and unequivocal manner. There is no confusion about Australia’s position, according to Albanese.

There wasn’t a bilateral meeting with President Xi in San Francisco. He added that he does not discuss private conversations on the sidelines or meetings with world leaders. That is how open lines of communication are maintained.

On Monday, Marles’ office announced that all the divers engaged had recovered and resumed jobs.

According to a spokeswoman for the Guardian Australia, medical evaluations undertaken shortly after the divers left the water revealed that they had incurred minor injuries, most likely as a result of being exposed to the Chinese destroyer’s sonar pulses.

Reference- Guardian

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