China warns U.S., Japan, Australia not to gang up in sea disputes

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (L-R), U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida prepare to take seats for their trilateral meeting ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bali, October 4, 2013. REUTERS-Dita Alangkara-Pool

Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (L-R), U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida prepare to take seats for their trilateral meeting ahead of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bali, October 4, 2013.      REUTERS-Dita Alangkara-Pool

SHANGHAI | Sun Oct 6, 2013 11:34pm EDT

(Reuters) – China said on Monday the United States, Australia and Japan should not use their alliance as an excuse to intervene in territorial disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and urged them to refrain from inflaming regional tensions.

On Friday, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised the maritime disputes during a trilateral strategic dialogue in Bali, Indonesia.

Relations between China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, have been troubled in recent years by a row over tiny, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

In the South China Sea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and China are involved in long-standing sovereignty disputes over the potentially oil- and gas-rich island chain.

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Pakistan accuses India of shelling as Kashmir tension simmers

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol next to a stream near the Line of Control (LoC), a ceasefire line dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, at Sabjiyan sector of Poonch district, August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol next to a stream near the Line of Control (LoC), a ceasefire line dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, at Sabjiyan sector of Poonch district, August 8, 2013.   REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta

(Reuters) – Pakistan accused Indian troops of firing shells across the disputed border in Kashmir on Monday and tensions ran high in both countries after last week’s killing of Indian soldiers set off a wave of skirmishes between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

Clashes flared along the 740-km (445-mile) Line of Control that divides Kashmir on August 6 when five Indian soldiers were ambushed and killed in the Poonch region. New Delhi blamed the attack on the Pakistan army. Islamabad denied involvement.

While tit-for-tat shelling and machinegun fire are common along the LoC the current round of fighting is one of the most intense since a ceasefire signed in 2003. It has been linked to protests in both countries and rowdy scenes in India’s parliament. Under pressure from opposition politicians, the government has hinted at retaliation.

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China media warns Philippines of “counterstrike” in South China Sea

(Reuters) – China’s state media warned on Saturday that a “counterstrike” against the Philippines was inevitable if it continues to provoke Beijing in the South China Sea, potentially Asia’s biggest military troublespot.

The warning comes as ministers from both countries attend an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Brunei, starting Saturday, which hopes to reach a legally binding code of conduct to manage maritime conduct in disputed areas.

At stake are potentially massive offshore oil reserves. The seas also lie on shipping lanes and fishing grounds.

Both China and the Philippines have been locked in a decades-old territorial squabble over the South China Sea, with tensions flaring after the Philippines moved new soldiers and supplies last week to a disputed coral reef, prompting Beijing to condemn Manila’s “illegal occupation”.

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