China eyes Japan-Aust defence visits pact

Lisa Martin
(Australian Associated Press)

 

China appears unimpressed that Australia and Japan are set to sign a defence pact for military visits.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to travel to Japan this month to sign a visiting forces agreement with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe.

The agreement will make it easier for Australia, Japan and the US to conduct military exercises together on Japanese soil.

The agreement sets out the legal status for military personnel visits.

A spokeswoman for the Chinese Embassy in Canberra said China was aware of the reports about the agreement being signed.

“This is a bilateral issue between Japan and Australia,” she said.

“At the same time, China believes that the military cooperation among the countries concerned should not undermine the security interests of other countries or affect the regional peace and stability.”

Japan and Australia have been negotiating an agreement since 2014.

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