Austrlia's Labor: South China Sea Tensions Demand 'Calming' Response

A Labor leader cautioned the government to tread carefully on China's territorial expansion in the South China Sea, after the defense minister expressed concern over China's takeover of islands.
The deputy foreign minister Tanya Plibersek told ABC radio on Monday Australia and Asian countries expect to move freely in the area.
She urged the government to take a softly-softly approach to China’s land reclamation program.
China has reportedly started building up its military presence in the artificially-created islands, believed to be a region rich in oil and gas reserves.
Several countries want a piece of the islands just north of Brunei, and the naval corridor is an important shipping route for Australian vessels.