The Group of Seven industrialized nations has voiced concern over tensions in the South China and declared “shared interest in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region” after an inaugural meeting of G7 foreign ministers with their counterparts from ASEAN.
The G7 comprises the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. Its top diplomats meeting in Liverpool, England, held a videoconference Sunday with counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The meeting was hosted by the U.K. which holds the G7 chairmanship this year.
The chair’s statement said G7 and the 10-member ASEAN bloc discussed the situation in the South China Sea, and “concerns were expressed on the land reclamations, activities, serious incidents in the area, including damage to the marine environment, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions, and may undermine peace, security, and stability in the region.” The statement stopped short of naming any specific country.
China, which has been accused of such activities, was not invited to the meeting and has not yet responded to the statement, which was also posted on the ASEAN secretariat’s website.
The participants called for “an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea that is in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea).”
Image by Royal Navy
Read more on: