Australia should “not accept” China’s claim to seas over 1000 km away from its coastline, one of our most senior national security figures has said.
Dennis Richardson, a former head of ASIO who has recently retired as Defence Secretary, blasted China’s policy of creating man-made islands in the South China Sea and then claiming the surrounding water as its own.
Up to two thirds of Australian exports pass through these seas, which are one the main arteries of global trade.
Security experts such as Richardson are increasingly concerned about China’s claims over the waters surrounding their artificial islands.
US satellites have found evidence of a military build-up on the islands, which could in future be used to attack Australian shipping.
Richardson says that Australia needs to start conducting “freedom of navigation” naval operation through the waters claimed by China, to show them that we do not accept their territorial claims.