HÀ NỘI (VNS) — The EU is committed to maintaining the principles of international maritime law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Maritime prioroties include the maintenance of maritime safety, security, and cooperation, freedom of navigation and overflight.
A public declaration on Recent Developments in the South China Sea was released yesterday by the High Representative on behalf of the 28 EU Member States.
The EU does not take a position land, territory and maritime claims in the South China Sea. Instead, the EU urges all claimants to resolve disputes through peaceful means, to clarify the basis of their claims, and to pursue claims in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS and its arbitration procedures.
The EU is concerned about the deployment of missiles on islands in the South China Sea, according to the declaration. The deployment of military forces and equipment on disputed maritime features affects regional security, may threaten freedom of navigation and overflight, and is of major concern. The EU therefore calls on all claimants to refrain from militarisation in the region, to refrain from the use or threat of force, and to avoid unilateral actions.
The EU encourages the development of measures to build trust and security in the region. The EU fully supports regional ASEAN-led processes and looks forward to a swift conclusion of the talks on a ’Code of Conduct’ which will further support rules-based regional and international order.
The EU in its declaration also reiterated its offer to share best practices on maritime security. —VNS