Australian Naval Move Draws Complaints From China taken from here: http://charlotte.realcities.com/rc/n...s/08413363.htm
China lodged a complaint with Australia after three Australian naval vessels moving through the Taiwan Straits were challenged by the Chinese navy, a spokesman for Australia's foreign affairs minister said on Sunday.
A Chinese navy vessel told three Australian ships moving through the straits earlier this month that they were in territorial waters.
However, the Australian vessels said they were exercising their right to free navigation in accordance with the laws of the sea and continued.
The spokesman for minister Alexander Downer said the Chinese had raised an official protest with Australia about the transit.
``We maintain that our ships were always abiding by their rights under the law of the sea,'' the spokesman told Reuters.
Diplomatic relations are already on edge, with China on Friday criticizing Australia's Prime Minister John Howard for supporting a pledge by President Bush to help defend Taiwan.
China regards Taiwan as a renegade province that must be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.
Australia's Prime Minister John Howard said the issue should not be blown out of proportion.
``I don't think we should attach any new significance to what China has done, we have to keep it in perspective,'' said Howard, according to a report by Australian Associated Press.
``We won't be over-reacting to it ... it is important ... to look at the totality of the relationship and see everything in proper perspective,'' he told reporters in Sydney.
This is how much of the South China Sea China claims as its territorial waters.
How many more times is China going to act like a bully?