Australia shares concern over tensions in East Sea
16:09 | 14/05/2014

VGP – Australia welcomes the statements issued at the 24th ASEAN Summit in Myanmar on May 10-11, regarding the situation in the East Sea, according an announcement on the website of the Australian Foreign Ministry.

A Chinese ship sent to protect drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 is firing high-power water cannons at a Vietnamese ship right in Viet Nam's continental shelf and exclusive economic zone - Photo: Viet Nam Marine Police

“We share the serious concerns expressed by ASEAN over recent developments which have served to raise tensions in the region,” the announcement reads.

Australia says it has a legitimate interest in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, unimpeded trade and freedom of navigation.

Australia urges parties to exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions that could escalate the situation and take steps to ease tensions.

China and ASEAN member countries are encouraged to make early progress on a substantive code of conduct for the East Sea.

Since May 1st 2014, China brazenly moved its deep-water drilling rig escorted by over 80 armed and military vessels and many airplanes to the Vietnamese waters and installed the rig at the location which is 80 miles deep into the Vietnamese continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Viet Nam has exercised utmost restraint, showed every gesture of goodwill and exhausted all dialogue channels to communicate with the Chinese authorities of different levels for expressing protest and demanding China to immediately withdraw its drilling rig and armed and military vessels from the Vietnamese waters. Nevertheless, up to now, China has failed to respond to Viet Nam’s legitimate demand. On the contrary, China has been slandering and blaming Viet Nam while continuing to escalate its increasingly dangerous and serious acts of violation.

In the face of China’s brazen move, ASEAN leaders, during the 24th ASEAN Summit, showed their unity by voicing their “serious concern” over the recent developments in the East Sea.

By Huong Giang

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