MANILA, Philippines – Beijing shrugged off yesterday the expression of concern raised by the Group of Seven industrialized countries over threats to stability in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea, saying China’s activities in the region – including its massive reclamation – are “beyond reproach.”
On Wednesday, G-7 foreign ministers issued a Declaration on Maritime Security expressing alarm over “unilateral actions, such as large scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions” in the region.
In their communiqué, which did not specifically mention China, the ministers expressed belief that reclamation activities were meant to “change the status quo” in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, through which 40 percent of global trade passes.
The foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and the High Representative of the European Union issued the communiqué after their meeting in Lübeck, Germany.
They urged parties with territorial and maritime claims in the region to refrain from taking “unilateral actions, such as large-scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions.”