G7 Foreign Ministers express concern about East Sea situation
Updated : Sunday, April 29, 2018 8:21 PM (GMT+0700)

Theforeign ministers of the Group Seven (G7)- Cananda, France, Germany, Italy,Japan, the UK and the US expressed concern about the situation in the East andSouth China seas in the communiqué issued following their meeting in Torontoearly this week. 

The foreign ministers of the Group Seven (G7) express concern about the situation in
the East and South China seas - Photo: AFP/VNA

The communiqué read: “Wereiterate our commitment to promoting cooperative, international maritimegovernance, to maintaining a rules-based maritime order based on internationallaw, including as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea(UNCLOS), to building trust and ensuring security, and to the peacefulmanagement and settlement of disputes without using the threat of force orcoercion and in accordance with international law, including throughinternationally recognised legal dispute settlement mechanisms, includingarbitration”.

The ministers alsoreiterated their commitment to the freedom of the high seas, including thefreedom of navigation and overflight, and to other rights, including the rightsand jurisdiction of coastal states and internationally lawful uses of theseas. 

“In this context, we stressthe importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region based on therule of law, and express our intention to work together with ASEAN and othercountries in this endeavour”, the communiqué said.

Regarding the East China Seaand South China Sea (which is called the East Sea in Vietnam), the ministersexpressed their strong opposition to any unilateral actions that escalatetensions and undermine regional stability and the international rules-basedorder, such as the use of force, large-scale land reclamation and building ofoutposts, as well as the use of them for military purposes. 

They urged all parties tocomply with their obligations under international law, and called for the fulland effective implementation of the commitments in the Declaration on theConduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) in their entirety. 

The G7 foreign ministersstressed the importance of ongoing negotiations for an effective code ofconduct and welcomed an agreement which does not derogate from the rights ofparties enjoy under international law or affect the rights of third parties.

“We also recognize that inorder to secure stability in the region, such diplomatic efforts should lead todemilitarization of disputed features and a peaceful and open South China Seain accordance with international law”, the communiqué said.

The ministers said theyconsider the July 12, 2016, award rendered by the Arbitral Tribunal underthe UNCLOS as a useful basis for further efforts to peacefully resolve disputesin the East Sea. 

They reiterated concernregarding the destruction of marine ecosystems in the East Sea, which threatenstheir sustainability and regional fish stocks, and reaffirm their commitment toincreasing international cooperation to enhance protection of the marineenvironment.


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