Australia joins Japan, Vietnam, Philippines in opposing China

This is not going to end well.

China News

Royal Australian Navy Patrol Boat HMAS Geelong Royal Australian Navy Patrol Boat HMAS Geelong

Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines have been forming an alliance against China, as China has been moving to annex other countries’ territories in the South and East China Seas.

Relations between Vietnam and China have become particularly hostile since China deployed an oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). (See “China’s neighbours react to new South China Sea claims” from last week.)

Now Australia is signalling that it is also joining this alliance. The change in policy was indicated in a statement by Australia’s foreign minister, Julie Bishop, during a visit by Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe to Australia to meet Australia’s prime minister, Tony Abbott. Like many of China’s neighbours, Australia had had a policy of being careful not to anger China, for fear of retaliation.

But there was a major confrontation last November, after China…

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