China’s rebuke of Julie Bishop ‘rudest’ conduct seen in 30 years, says senior foreign affairs official

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Foreign Minister Julie Bishop with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in December last year. The Chinese minister critised Ms Bishop over her handling of China’s air defence in the East China Sea.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in December last year. The Chinese minister critised Ms Bishop over her handling of China’s air defence in the East China Sea. Photo: Ed Jones/Getty Images

A senior Australian foreign affairs official has branded Beijing’s public rebuke of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop over a diplomatic rift late last year as the rudest thing he’s seen in 30 years as a diplomat.

The unusually frank criticism by North Asia Division first assistant secretary Peter Rowe came during a Senate estimates hearing in which Labor was probing the diplomatic fallout from the public spat late last year.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in early December delivered a stinging criticism of Australia in front of television cameras during a face-to-face meeting with Ms Bishop.

The dispute stemmed from Australia’s firm condemnation of China’s establishment of an air defence identification zone in the East China Sea – widely seen as a provocation in its territorial dispute with Japan over a group of islands.
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Mr Wang said Australia’s position had ”jeopardised bilateral mutual trust and affected the sound growth of bilateral relations”.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/chinas-rebuke-of-julie-bishop-rudest-conduct-seen-in-30-years-says-senior-foreign-affairs-official-20140227-33jid.html#ixzz2uUbwR136

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