Australia joins US warship in South China Sea as tensions grow


An Australian warship has joined the US Navy in a drill in the South China Sea as tensions rise again between Beijing, Malaysia and Vietnam over disputed waters.

The Australian frigate HMAS Parramatta and three US warships arrived this week close to where the Chinese government survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 is suspected to be exploring for oil.

A vessel operated by Malaysia’s Petronas state oil company is also operating in the area.

The joint navy exercises were likely planned for months in advance but the show of force comes amid accusations that China is exploiting the Covid-19 crisis to bolster its territorial claims in regional flashpoints.