FRANCE, Germany, and South Korea have joined five other nations in expressing deep concern over “dangerous” actions by the China Coast Guard (CCG) that raised tensions in the South China Sea (SCS).
The United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, and Canada on Monday slammed the water bombing of Philippine vessels by the CCG last August 5 while on a resupply mission in Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. The European Mission in Manila also echoed their concern.
The Embassy of South Korea in Manila, in a statement on Tuesday, raised concern over the recent use of water cannons against the Philippines Coast Guard vessels in the SCS.
The embassy has reaffirmed its support for peace, stability, and rules-based order in the SCS, as an “important international sea lane of communications.”
It also supports the “freedom of navigation and overflight based on the principles of international law, including Unclos (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).”
The German Embassy in Manila is concerned by the “dangerous maneuvers and use of water cannons by Chinese Coast Guard vessels against a lawful Filipino resupply mission within the Philippine’s own exclusive economic zone (EEZ).”
Germany, through its embassy here, urged all parties “to respect the rules-based international maritime order,” particularly Unclos, “with the 2016 Arbitral Award at its center.”
On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines and invalidated China’s expansive “nine-dash line” policy in the SCS which encroached the Philippines’ EEZ.
“In light of recent events, Germany stresses that disputes must be resolved peacefully not by force or coercion,” the embassy said.
The Embassy of France, in a statement, expressed “deep concern about the dangerous maneuvers carried out by Chinese coast guard vessels in the South China Sea.”
It reiterated its support for international law and Unclos, as it cited the “decision handed down by the Court of Arbitration in 2016 concerning the South China Sea.”