Powered by Blogger.
  • Home
  • Showing posts with label South China Sea dispute. Show all posts
    Showing posts with label South China Sea dispute. Show all posts

    Europe Warns Against Escalation in South China Sea Dispute

      The European Union made its strongest call yet for China and other Asian nations to resolve their dispute over the South China Sea, a position Brussels insists is neutral but that the United States is likely to welcome after pressing the bloc to speak up.

    At a summit of EU and Asian foreign ministers, Beijing escaped any public admonishment over its construction and militarisation of islands in the South China Sea but the EU's foreign policy chief took a firm line in the bloc's first public comments since Washington patrolled the area this month.

    "We are committed to a maritime order based on the principles of international law," Federica Mogherini told a news conference when asked about the dispute. "We oppose any attempt to assert territorial or maritime claims through the use of intimidation, coercion, force or any unilateral actions which would cause further friction," she said.

    The United States has been urging the European Union to speak more forcefully about what Washington worries is Beijing's predatory approach to a waterway where Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines have rival claims.
    But the European Union, despite its deep ties with the United States, has been reluctant to publicly criticise Beijing at a time when it is seeking up to $10 billion of Chinese investment in its new EU infrastructure fund to help revitalise the bloc's weak economy.

    A week after Washington sent a U.S. naval destroyer to underscore its freedom of navigation and challenge China's claim to almost all the South China Sea, the European Union also faced the task of ensuring that the gathering of 50 Asian and European envoys was not completely overshadowed by the dispute.

    The issue is so sensitive for Beijing that the EU-chaired summit could only produce a final summit statement that made no mention of the South China Sea, despite preparatory talks between Asian officials that diplomats described as very tense.

    Placed on paragraph 22 of the 9-page statement, the 53 delegations agreed on the importance "of resolving maritime disputes through peaceful means."

    Total Pageviews