News

Australia warned away from US-China war-talk

For the Pentagon, the CIA, the State Department and more, Trump has picked people who publicly disagree with him on some cornerstones of his agenda In confirmation hearings.
For the Pentagon, the CIA, the State Department and more, Trump has picked people who publicly disagree with him on some cornerstones of his agenda In confirmation hearings. AP Photo - Steve Helber

THE US has been warned of potentially "devastating consequences" if it blocks China from islands it has built in contested waters in the South China Sea, according to Chinese media reports.

And in more inflammatory comments, prospective US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was told he better watch his mouth, after the former ExxonMobil CEO told US senators that he would seek to deny Beijing access to the artificial islands.

China's actions in the region are comparable to Russia's invasion of Crimea, he said, a comment that did not sit well with the nuclear-armed Asian giant.

If Tillerson acted on his threats, Chinese state-owned China Daily warned "it would set a course for devastating confrontation between China and the US." Satellite photos show China has been hard at work building military facilities in the contested waters, which are also claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam, among others.

The sentiment former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating to comment that Canberra needed to tell the incoming Trump administration from the get-go that Australia will sit out any US "adventurism" over South China Sea tensions.

"When the US secretary of state-designate threatens to involve Australia in war with China, the Australian people need to take note," he said in a statement.

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating wants Canberra to tell Trump that we’ll sit out any adventurism over South China Sea tensions.
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating wants Canberra to tell Trump that we’ll sit out any adventurism over South China Sea tensions. Stuart McEvoy for The Australian.

Australia should not provide naval commitment to joint operations in the South China Sea and no enhanced US military facilitation of such operations, he said.

Tillerson's claim China's control of access to the South China Sea would be a threat to the "entire global economy" was "ludicrous", Mr Keating said.

"No country would be more badly affected than China if it moved to impede navigation.

"On the other hand, Australia's prosperity and the security of the world would be devastated by war."

Under US President Barack Obama, Washington has claimed Beijing's activities in the region threaten freedom of navigation and overflight through the commercially and strategically vital waters.

But is has not taken a position on the ownership of the islets, reefs and shoals that sit in one of the world's hot spots.

Tillerson, however, explicitly said that the territories "are not rightfully China's."

"Unless Washington plans to wage a large-scale war in the South China Sea, any other approaches to prevent

Chinese access to the islands will be foolish," the nationalistic Global Times wrote in an editorial.

The paper, which is thought to have some insight into the thinking of more hawkish members of Chinese Communist Party, added that Tillerson better "bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories."

It has previously called on Beijing to increase its nuclear arsenal after Donald Trump threatened to up-end decades of US policy on Taiwan by suggesting he could recognise the island, which China regards as an indisputable part of its sovereign territory.

China's official reaction to the comments was muted, with foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang politely urging Washington to mind its own business.

"The South China Sea situation has cooled down and we hope non-regional countries can respect the consensus that it is in the fundamental interest of the whole world," he said.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  australia china editors picks paul keating south china sea usa



Coffs Coast farmers encouraged to have say on rural crimes

Forum hosted on Monday by the Rural Crime Advisory Group.

Director takes on Pratchett

SIT BACK AND RELAX: Let Beckley Vincent and the cast of Wyrd Sisters take you on a journey at Jetty Memorial Theatre.

Pratchett novel the base for upcoming Jetty Theatre production.

Cyclists master the track

Coffs Harbour Cycle Club member with the two medals she won at the NSW Masters track championships.

Coffs Harbour Cycle Club members bring home medals.

Local Partners

Coffs Coast farmers encouraged to have say on rural crimes

FARMERS are invited to have their say on local rural crime issues at a special forum in Coffs Harbour tomorrow.


REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Director takes on Pratchett

SIT BACK AND RELAX: Let Beckley Vincent and the cast of Wyrd Sisters take you on a journey at Jetty Memorial Theatre.

Pratchett novel the base for upcoming Jetty Theatre production.

Plenty of Electrik funk at Sunday sesh

Electrik Lemonade is nine individuals united by the cosmic boogie.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

A taste of the country life without the hard work

HERITAGE PARK: This home on the cover of the Real Estate Property Guide has everything you love about semi-rural living.

Get a taste of the country life without all the hard work

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!