Published On: Thu, Aug 29th, 2019

South China Sea: Vietnam and Malaysia warn China over disputed waters – ‘serious concerns’ | World | News

World and local politicians are echoing the demands of US President Donald Trump’s call on Beijing to end its militarisation of the territorial waters as a matter of urgency, the Economic Times reports. Vietnam has ordered Chinese ships Haiyang Dizhi 8 and HD8 out of Hanoi’s waters after the US expressed concern over the crisis last month. Malaysia has also backed Vietnam up in a joint statement.

The two Asian nations said: “Both sides underlined the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and the rule of law in the region, which includes the safety, security and freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea and expressed serious concerns over recent developments in the South China Sea.

“The two sides agreed that disputes shall be resolved through peaceful means, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes, without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with the principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.”

Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad emphasised the nations’ sovereignty as the statement continued.

It read: “Both Prime Ministers emphasised the importance of self-restraint, non-militarisation and observance of international legal obligations in good faith, respect for sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the coastal states, and rule of law in accordance with the 1982 UNCLOS and avoidance of activities that may escalate tensions.

“The two sides underlined their support for the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety and agreed to enhance efforts towards the early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) that is effective, substantive, and consistent with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.”

It added: “Unilateral actions during the past weeks in the South China Sea have resulted in mounting tensions and a deterioration of the maritime security environment which represents a serious threat to the peaceful economic development of the region.”

The move comes after China today sent a chilling warning to a US navy ship spotted dangerously near to disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Beijing urged Washington to end its “provocative” naval operations in the hotly disputed territory, adding US President Donald Trump was violating China’s sovereignty in allowing vessels within proximity of the area.

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The People’s Liberation Army issued a statement after closely watching the USS Wayne E. Meyer guided missile destroyer, which sailed in the region yesterday sparking anger from China, Bloomberg reports.

Senior Colonel Li Huamin, a spokesman for the southern command, said: “Facts have proven that the so-called ‘freedom of navigation’ of the United States is essentially a hegemony that ignores the rules of international law, seriously undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests, and seriously undermines the stability of the South China Sea region.”

The vessel sailed within 12 nautical miles of both Fiery Cross and Mischief Reefs “in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law”, Washington said.

The two reefs have been highly militarised by China in a move condemned by Asian and Western nations alike.


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The US said it regularly conducts such missions, with the most recent being a freedom of navigation operation.

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