Reports: China Challenged Australian Warships in South China Sea

Australian warships were challenged by the Chinese military in the disputed South China Sea earlier this month, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported Friday, citing Australian defense officials. The Australian Defense Department confirmed that three ships had recently traveled to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam but declined to comment on "operational details related to ships transiting the South China Sea." The ABC cited one official saying the exchanges with the Chinese navy were polite but "robust." "The Australian Defense Force has maintained a robust program of international engagement with countries in and around the South China Sea for decades," the Defense Department said in a statement emailed to Reuters. China recently completed a massive military drill in the South China Sea, where its claims are hotly disputed by Vietnam as well as the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government...


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