The Australian reported that Australia officially declared that China's South China Sea advocates illegality.

Author: BEN PACKHAM

Australia, following the United States, officially declared Beijing’s claim to disputed territory in the South China Sea illegal, greatly increasing the risk of its relationship with China deteriorating.

Australia said in a statement submitted to the United Nations headquarters in New York that Australia denies China’s claims of disputed islands and landforms in the South China Sea because they are not in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and are therefore “invalid”.

The move was made a few days before the upcoming annual Australian-American Ministerial Summit (Ausmin) between Australia and the United States in Washington, and after the United States abandoned its neutral position on Beijing's South China Sea claims.

Australia has previously urged all claimants on the disputed South China Sea islands and marine landforms to resolve their claims in accordance with international law.

However, Australia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Mitch Fifield, submitted this new statement to the United Nations on Friday, Australian time, denying China’s claims and pointed out the opposition of Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines to its claims.

"The Australian government denies any claims made by China that are inconsistent with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), especially its maritime claims that do not comply with the convention's regulations on baselines, sea areas and landform classification," the statement said.

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