Australians enjoying a sunny winter morning were surprised by the sight of three Chinese warships steaming into to Sydney Harbour on Monday, forcing the prime minister to reassure jittery residents.
Three Chinese warships sailed out of Sydney on Friday after an unannounced visit that came amid a tussle for influence between Australia and China in the Pacific.
China will show off new warships including nuclear submarines and destroyers at a parade next week marking 70 years since its navy’s founding,
President Joko Widodo also headed Wednesday to the fishing-rich waters around the Natuna islands, which border the South China Sea, most of which is claimed by China despite competing claims from other Southeast Asian nations including Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.
Speaking during a visit to Bangladesh, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country's actions were "legitimate, reasonable, in accordance with the law," and aimed at protecting China's "sacred sovereignty."