Representative Image
Representative Image

UK, Germany, France express concern over tense situation in South China Sea

ANI | Updated: Aug 30, 2019 02:28 IST

London [UK], Aug 30 (ANI): Britain, Germany and France on Thursday expressed concern over the tense situation in the South China Sea, a day after US Navy sailed a warship within 12 nautical miles of two contested islands in the region.
"We are concerned about the situation in the South China Sea which could lead to insecurity and instability in the region," a joint statement from the three countries released by the UK Foreign Ministry read, as cited by Sputnik news agency.
The trio further called on the coastal states of the region to take measures that reduce tensions and contribute to maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability and safety in the region, "including as regards the rights of coastal States in their waters and the freedom and rights of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea."
The statement noted that as signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the parties concerned should ensure that the agreement was applied comprehensively.
"[This convention] sets out the comprehensive legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas including in the South China Sea must be carried out and which provides the basis for national, regional and global co-operation in the maritime domain," it added.
The US Navy sailed a warship within 12 nautical miles of two contested islands in the South China Sea Wednesday, as part of what it calls a "freedom of navigation operation."
The country has long accused China of installing military facilities on man-made islands at Fiery Cross and Mischief Reef, reported CNN.
A majority of Islands in the South China Sea are controlled by China, but these territories are also claimed by several other countries, including Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia and the Philippines.
Washington has accused China of interfering with Vietnam's oil and gas activities in the South China Sea, while Beijing maintains the stand that the Philippines and Vietnam deliberately use the US support to escalate tensions in the region. (ANI)

iocl