Live Updates: COVID-19 Cases
  • World 30,380,034
    Confirmed: 30,380,034
    Active: 7,365,969
    Recovered: 22,062,915
    Death: 951,150
  • USA 6,874,596
    Confirmed: 6,874,596
    Active: 2,517,344
    Recovered: 4,155,039
    Death: 202,213
  • India 5,214,677
    Confirmed: 5,214,677
    Active: 1,017,722
    Recovered: 4,112,551
    Death: 84,404
  • Brazil 4,457,443
    Confirmed: 4,457,443
    Active: 569,330
    Recovered: 3,753,082
    Death: 135,031
  • Russia 1,091,186
    Confirmed: 1,091,186
    Active: 170,784
    Recovered: 901,207
    Death: 19,195
  • Peru 750,098
    Confirmed: 750,098
    Active: 124,439
    Recovered: 594,513
    Death: 31,146
  • Mexico 684,113
    Confirmed: 684,113
    Active: 123,518
    Recovered: 488,416
    Death: 72,179
  • South Africa 655,572
    South Africa
    Confirmed: 655,572
    Active: 54,497
    Recovered: 585,303
    Death: 15,772
  • Spain 625,651
    Confirmed: 625,651
    Active: 595,246
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 30,405
  • Chile 441,150
    Confirmed: 441,150
    Active: 15,080
    Recovered: 413,928
    Death: 12,142
  • Iran 416,198
    Confirmed: 416,198
    Active: 36,741
    Recovered: 355,505
    Death: 23,952
  • France 415,481
    Confirmed: 415,481
    Active: 293,546
    Recovered: 90,840
    Death: 31,095
  • UK 381,614
    Confirmed: 381,614
    Active: 339,909
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 41,705
  • Bangladesh 345,805
    Confirmed: 345,805
    Active: 88,589
    Recovered: 252,335
    Death: 4,881
  • Saudi Arabia 328,144
    Saudi Arabia
    Confirmed: 328,144
    Active: 16,538
    Recovered: 307,207
    Death: 4,399
  • Pakistan 304,386
    Confirmed: 304,386
    Active: 6,295
    Recovered: 291,683
    Death: 6,408
  • Turkey 298,039
    Confirmed: 298,039
    Active: 26,979
    Recovered: 263,745
    Death: 7,315
  • Italy 293,025
    Confirmed: 293,025
    Active: 41,413
    Recovered: 215,954
    Death: 35,658
  • Germany 269,298
    Confirmed: 269,298
    Active: 18,539
    Recovered: 241,300
    Death: 9,459
  • Canada 140,867
    Confirmed: 140,867
    Active: 8,558
    Recovered: 123,109
    Death: 9,200
  • Netherlands 88,073
    Confirmed: 88,073
    Active: 81,807
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 6,266
  • China 85,255
    Confirmed: 85,255
    Active: 165
    Recovered: 80,456
    Death: 4,634
  • Australia 26,861
    Confirmed: 26,861
    Active: 2,169
    Recovered: 23,855
    Death: 837
  • S. Korea 22,783
    S. Korea
    Confirmed: 22,783
    Active: 2,635
    Recovered: 19,771
    Death: 377
  • New Zealand 1,809
    New Zealand
    Confirmed: 1,809
    Active: 70
    Recovered: 1,714
    Death: 25

China, Australia spar on Twitter over the South China Sea

Author at TechGenyz Insights
Australia and China
A phoyo of Australia and Chinese flag

Chinese and Australian diplomats sparred on Twitter over Beijing’s actions in the South China Sea following Australia’s endorsement of a US statement that it would recognise virtually none of China’s territorial claims there.

Australia recently filed a memorandum with the United Nations saying the claims were “without legal basis,” plunging Canberra into the controversy that has drawn angry responses from Beijing.

Australian High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell tweeted Thursday that he told India’s Minister of External Affairs that China’s moves were “destabilising and could provoke escalation.”

Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong responded Friday by accusing O’Farrell of “disregarding facts,” writing: “It’s clear who safeguard peace&stability & destabilise&provoke escalations in the region.”

O’Farrell shot back saying China should follow a 2016 international tribunal ruling that rejected most of Beijing’s claims. China has denounced the ruling as “illegal” and without any “binding force.”

O’Farrell’s comments drew strong praise from internet users in India, where the public and politicians have called for a tougher line against China following a bloody clash along their disputed border.

China said that long-range bombers were among the aircraft that took part in recent aerial drills over the South China Sea amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over the strategic waterway.

The exercises included nighttime takeoffs and landings and simulated long-range attacks, Defense Ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang said Thursday. Among the planes were H-6G and H-6K bombers, upgraded versions of aircraft long in use in China’s military, Ren said.

He said the exercises had been previously scheduled and were aimed at boosting pilot abilities to operate under all conditions, regardless of weather or time of day. It wasn’t clear whether live bombs were used.

China has built airstrips on many of its island holdings in the South China Sea, including man-made islands atop coral reefs. It isn’t clear though whether it plans to permanently station aircraft there, where sand and salty air can do serious damage to airframes and sophisticated on-board equipment.

Chinese ships, including the country’s two aircraft carriers, conduct frequent operations in the area, sometimes to the trail and occasionally harass ships from other countries.

US and Australian diplomats and defence ministers pledged to renew and strengthen a united front against China and what they termed Beijing’s malign behaviour throughout the region and beyond.

The two sides represented by US Secretary of Mike Pompeo, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Australian Defense Minister Linda Reynolds on Tuesday accused China of violating international norms in the South China Sea and vowed to uphold freedom of navigation and the rule of the law as well as democratic freedoms in Hong Kong.

Pompeo said the US and Australia face “immediate crises” that must be dealt with simultaneously. Those include the coronavirus and “Chinese communist party ambitions,” particularly its malign activity in the Indo-Pacific region and indeed all around the world.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed helplessness in the face of China’s seizure of Philippine-claimed territories in the South China Sea.

In an annual address to the nation last Monday, Duterte said he “cannot do anything” to counter those actions in the face of China’s overwhelming military superiority.

China has effectively taken possession of territories the Philippines claims and Manila’s only option is to seek to cool tensions through dialogue, he said.

Duterte has sought warmer ties with Beijing while downplaying long-standing relations with treaty ally the United States.

However, the Philippines last month renewed its call for compliance with a 4-year-old arbitration ruling that invalidated China’s vast claims in the disputed South China Sea on historical grounds.