Three Chinese warships have left Australia after their demonstration of intimidating military personnel could lead to warnings that the country is "hugging" to Beijing.
The three ships sailed from Sydney on Friday afternoon after a four-day stopover at the naval base Garden Island.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was aware of the visit after the ships had just finished drug trafficking operations in the Middle East.
Chinese warships (photos) finally left after the presence of intimidating soldiers
But experts and MPs feared that the visit was a display to remind Australia of China & # 39; s power.
& # 39; It caused many hackles & # 39 ;, John Blaxland, professor of international security and intelligence studies at Australian National University in Canberra, told ABC on Friday.
& # 39; The ships arrived at Darling Point and other famous places in Sydney Harbor, without people knowing in advance … and with armed soldiers and sailors on the deck of the ships that looked pretty aggressive. & # 39;
The warships had arrived on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the visit had been a mutual agreement.
& # 39; It was a mutual visit as Australian naval vessels visited China & # 39 ;, Mr. Morrison told reporters this week in Solomon Islands capital Honiara.
& # 39; So it might have been a surprise to others, but it certainly wasn't a surprise to the government. & # 39;
Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells has since criticized Mr. Morrison in an opinion piece published in The Australian on Friday, where she accused him of having the Chinese dictate conditions.
The three ships sailed from Sydney on Friday afternoon, after a four-day stopover at the naval base Garden Island (depicted in a Chinese warship)
The unexpected arrival of the warring ships came in the midst of a battle for the influence between Australia and China in the Pacific (depicted in the Chinese warship)
She also denounced Mr. Morrison for the controversial timing of the three warships docking in Sydney Harbor this week.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells added that she felt that the visit & # 39; indicated that Australia lost the psychological match with Beijing & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Morrison & # 39; s cabinet of group thinkers and those responsible for the decision have resorted to reconciliation. They were fully drawn by Beijing, & senator Fierravanti-Wells wrote.
The senator described some of Beijing & # 39; s actions in the South China Sea as warlike and illegal and said that Australia should not be afraid to call China & # 39; where it lacks the credibility of a good international citizen proven & # 39 ;.
The members of the public watch further while the Chinese naval ship departs from the port of Sydney on Friday
The warships had arrived on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989 (depicted in the Chinese warship)
& # 39; We must exercise the right to innocent passage in accordance with international law, but above all we must stand up for values of freedom and compliance with a rule-based order & # 39 ;, she wrote.
She also hurled Mr. Morrison for keeping Australians in the dark prior to the unannounced visit prior to the ships' arrival on Monday.
Even the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was not aware of the top secret visit that the federal government and the Ministry of Defense had known for two months.
& # 39; It is misleading for the prime minister to dismiss the timing of this power projection exercise as a & # 39; mutual visit & # 39; and to say that the task group only & # 39; returned from anti-drug operations in the Middle East & # 39 ;, wrote Senator Fierravanti-Wells.
& # 39; Many Chinese-Australians remain courageous against the regime,
& # 39; I am sure that the timing of the PLA naval visit would not suit many of them. & # 39;
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (photo) and his cabinet of group thinkers were totally outweighed by Beijing & # 39 ;, senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells wrote in an opinion piece
Liberal senator and former minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (photo) said that Australians have been misled by Prime Minister Scott Morrison during the visit of three Chinese warships
The conservative liberal senator was minister of international development and the South Pacific from 2016 until the leadership of last August, where she resigned from the ministry.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham refused to discuss Ms Fierrisv Wells' criticism of Mr Morrison.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said it was not in Australia's interest to make the visit of the Chinese warships a political debate.
"However, I also think it would be reasonable for a public notification to be made of the visit of ships in Sydney Harbor," he told reporters in Sydney.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham refused to address Mrs Fierravanti-Wells' criticism of Mr Morrison (depicted in the Chinese warship)
& # 39; The fact that the NSW government was apparently unaware of Gladys Berejiklian requires some further explanation of why that did not happen. & # 39;
The Department of Defense said this week's visit by a Task Force of the People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) was a routine visit to the port and one of many port visits to Australia by foreign military ships that were facilitated every year.
Around 730 sailors from People & # 39; s Liberation Army Navy (PLA-N) frigate Xuchang, auxiliary replenishment vessel Luoma Hu and landing platform dock Kunlun Shan sailed in the port city for four days.
& # 39; The Australian government is committed to maintaining a constructive long-term relationship with China based on shared interests and mutual respect & # 39 ;, a department spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia earlier this week.
The recent tensions in Australia with China
Australia normalized relations with Communist China in 1972, but diplomatic ties were tense.
Since 2009, China has been Australia's largest mutual trade partner, because the United States has remained Australia's largest ally.
The Asian superpower is a major buyer of Australian raw materials and spent $ 50 billion on iron ore and another $ 13 billion on coal in the 2017-18 financial year.
It also spends $ 10 billion a year sending international students to Australia.
Both sides of Australia's politics distrust China's territorial ambitions and possible espionage activity.
In 2012, Julia Gillard & # 39; s Labor government banned the Chinese telecommunications equipment company Huawei from installing the national broadband network on cyber attack problems.
In August 2018, days before he resigned as Prime Minister of Liberal, the Malcolm Turnbull government forbade Huawei to install the new 5G mobile network, also on national security grounds.
The Chinese government would be dissatisfied with this.
Earlier this year, Australian coal was banned to enter the Dalian ports in northern China, causing the Australian dollar to slip.
The South China Sea – bordered by Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam – is another diplomatic point.
It is an important global shipping route and an important source of untapped oil and gas reserves.
China has also escalated regional tensions by building a series of military bases in the disputed sea area.
It has overlapping territorial claims on the South China Sea with the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam.
The United States criticizes China for aggressively claiming the South China Sea as its own territory, while Australia largely shares that view and wants China to adhere to the global rules for allowing shipping movements.
China does not agree with Australia that has been conducting its own surveillance of the South China Sea since 1980, using P-3 maritime aircraft as part of Operation Gateway.
As a liberal democracy, Australia is a critic of the Chinese human rights record.
The late Labor Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, 30 years ago this month, allowed Chinese students to stay in Australia after the massacre in Tiananmen Square in Beijiing of pro-democratic student protesters.
This led to an influx of immigrants from mainland China. When it comes to those born overseas, the Australian-born Chinese population is second only to England.
Since the new Labor government of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam recognized China in December 1972, Australia has considered Taiwan to be part of China.
Australia's neighbors in the Pacific do not share the same position as the Solomon Islands that recognize Taiwan.
This small nation was the recipient of Chinese infrastructure loans in an effort to change its position on Taiwan at the United Nations.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is visiting the Solomon Islands this week, the first of an Australian Prime Minister since Kevin Rudd in 2008.
Sources: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Lowy Institute
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