Over the weekend, Canberra accused Beijing of “unsafe and unprofessional” behavior at sea that affected HMAS Toowoomba, an Australian long-range destroyer supporting UN sanctions enforcement activities. countries in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
According to Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles, divers were removing fishing nets from the propeller of HMAS Toowoomba when a Chinese destroyer approached.
Minister Marles said the sonar system on the Chinese ship “most likely” injured some Australian soldiers.
On November 20, Beijing warned Canberra not to make “reckless and irresponsible accusations against China”.
“We call on the Australian side to respect the truth and stop making reckless and irresponsible accusations against China,” Defense Ministry spokesman Ngo Khiem said, affirming that the country “does not participate in any illegal activities.” any activity that may affect Australian divers”.
Earlier on the same day, Beijing Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ninh also affirmed that “the Chinese military has strict discipline and always carries out professional activities in accordance with international law and international practices.” .
The incident took place in the context that China and Australia are trying to mend their trade relationship after many years of coldness.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had a groundbreaking trip to Beijing earlier this month and affirmed that this was a “very positive” development.
However, the two sides are still tense over security issues in the context of Australia moving closer to the US.
The Medical Advisory Committee on Diving – an independent organization based in London – has warned that sonar can cause dizziness and damage to divers’ hearing and internal organs.