Leaders of E3: British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Anadolu Agency
“We are concerned about the situation in the South China Sea which could lead to insecurity and instability in the region,” according to the statement released on August 29.
“We call on all coastal States of the South China Sea to take steps and measures that reduce tensions and contribute to maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability and safety in the region, including as regards the rights of coastal States in their waters and the freedom and rights of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea,” said the statement released from the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
“As State parties of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), France, Germany, and the UK underline their interest in the universal application of the Convention which sets out the comprehensive legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas including in the South China Sea must be carried out and which provides the basis for national, regional and global co-operation in the maritime domain. They recall in this regard the Arbitration Award rendered under UNCLOS on 12 July 2016,” said the statement.
Furthermore, France, Germany, and the UK welcome the on-going negotiations between the ASEAN member States and China in view of achieving a rules-based, co-operative and effective Code of Conduct consistent with UNCLOS in the South China Sea and encourage progress towards its early conclusion, the statement noted.
Two days ago on August 27, the EU issued a statement expressing concern about the South China Sea mounting tensions, saying that involved parties “could also seek third party assistance in the form of mediation or arbitration to facilitate the settlement of their respective claims, if deemed useful.”