E-3 expresses concern on SCS



MANILA, Philippines — Three European countries have collectively expressed their concern over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

“We are concerned about the situation in the South China Sea which could lead to insecurity and instability in the region,” the United Kingdom, France and Germany said in a statement yesterday.

They called on coastal states in the disputed waters “to take steps and 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 over-flight above the South China Sea.”

The three nations are signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They said UNCLOS is the “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 coope-ration in the maritime domain.”

They recalled that the July 2016 arbitral ruling that favored the Philippines and invalidated China’s claims over most of the West Philippine Sea was rendered under UNCLOS.

They welcomed the ongoing negotiations between members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China for the crafting of a “rules-based, cooperative and effective Code of Conduct consistent with UNCLOS in the South China Sea and encourage progress towards its early conclusion.”

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/09/01/1948077/e-3-expresses-concern-scs#4ZE9UaJEohS4rZSk.99