Australian PM urges Beijing to cool tensions in South China Sea

New Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (R) announces his cabinet at a press conference as Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop listens, in Canberra, on September 20, 2015Australia’s new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has advised China to ease off on island construction in the South China Sea if it wants a reduced US presence in the region. Beijing claims almost the whole of the sea and over the past year has been converting reefs into artificial islands, with military facilities, sparking regional concern and warnings from Washington. “There clearly are some tensions with the islands in the South China Sea, the reefs I should say, shoals,” Turnbull told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation late Monday.

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