Sunbathers in Sydney were surprised when they saw three Chinese warships steaming into the Harbour on Monday, which made the Prime Minister reassure them that this was not anything sinister. With general concern over Beijing's increasing clout and muscle flexing, the presence of a Chinese task group and around 700 sailors did indeed cause the jitters.
The Prime Minister, Mr. Scott Morrison said that 'it may have been a surprise to others, but it certainly wasn't a surprise to the government.'He said, 'We have known about that for some time,' and described it as a 'reciprocal visit because Australian naval vessels have visited China.'
He went on the explain that 'they were returning after a counter drug trafficking operation in the Middle East.'
Significantly the timing of the visit, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the suppression of Tiananmen protests, has not gone unnoticed. 'I think any reading into the timing could be subject to a bit of over-analysis,' explained Mr. Morrison.