Liberal MP Zoe McKenzie says Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s ‘hitching and weaving’ on his conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the navy incident suggests he didn’t raise it with Xi in person at the APEC Summit.
Mr Albanese is under pressure to explain whether he raised a military incident with Mr Xi after Australian navy divers were injured by sonar pulses from a Chinese warship on international waters in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
The Chinese destroyer acknowledged multiple warnings from the Australian warship that divers were in the water, but the People’s Liberation Army continued to move closer and then activated the sonar.
The Prime Minister said he wouldn’t divulge personal or private conversations with another world leader which occurred on the sidelines of the APEC Summit.
“This isn’t about diplomacy; this is a serious incident that occurred to our navy sailors in international waters,” Ms McKenzie told Sky News Australia.
“It happened on a Tuesday [and] the Prime Minister was with the President of China on Friday.
“He had three days in which to be absolutely assured of what had happened and then to raise it.
“To not have raised it at the highest levels when he could have is a disgrace.”