The European Union (EU) made a declaration through the Union’s High Representative urging all claimant countries in South China Sea “to resolve disputes through peaceful means, to clarify the basis of their claims, and to pursue them in accordance with international law including UNCLOS and its arbitration procedures.” The Declaration was released March 11.
The European Union also called to stop the militarization, use or threat of force, and unilateral actions in South China Sea.
“The EU is concerned about the deployment of missiles on islands in the South China Sea. The temporary or permanent deployment of military forces or equipment on disputed maritime features which affects regional security and may threaten freedom of navigation and overflight is a major concern,” the Union’s High Representative added.
“The EU encourages further engagement in confidence building measures which seek to build trust and security in the region. The EU fully supports regional ASEAN-led processes and is looking forward to a swift conclusion of the talks on a ‘Code of Conduct’ which will further support a rules-based regional and international order,” it added.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) today welcomed EU’s declaration. “The Philippines has long advocated a peaceful, rules-based resolution to the disputes in the South China Sea,” DFA said in a press release.
“The Philippines supports the EU’s continued engagement in the region through the ASEAN-led processes and welcomes its offer to share best practices on maritime security,” DFA added.