Australia, New Zealand urge China show restraint in South China Sea


SYDNEY: Australia and New Zealand strongly urged China Friday to refrain from stoking tensions in the South China Sea, after its apparent deployment of surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island.

Tensions between China and its neighbors over sovereignty in the South China Sea were raised after Taiwan and U.S. officials said China deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system to Woody Island, in the Paracel Island chain.

“We urge all claimants in the South China Sea to refrain from any building of islands, any militarization of islands, any land reclamation,” Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said after a meeting in Sydney with his New Zealand counterpart John Key. “It is absolutely critical that we ensure that there is a lowering of tensions.”

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