Wion news on August 19 reported that India has reacted to Chinese intrusion into Vietnam's exclusive economic zone. New Delhi has called for unimpeded lawful commerce in the region and that differences should be resolved peacefully.
Reacting to a question during the weekly Ministry of External Affairs presser in Delhi, spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "the South China Sea is part of the global commons. India, therefore, has an abiding interest in the peace and stability in the region".
Reiterating India's stand for "freedom of navigation and over-flight, and unimpeded lawful commerce in the international waters in accordance with international laws, notably UNCLOS", Raveesh said, "differences must be resolved peacefully by respecting the legal and diplomatic processes, and without resorting to threat or use of force".
|Photo: Straits Times.
The intrusion that began on August 13, the second of its kind this year, saw Bejing placing two of its coast guard ships near ONGC's block. Overall, in the second intrusion, 6 coast guard ships, 10 fishing ships and 2 service ships along with H6 bomber, fighter aircraft and mid-air refuelers have spotted hovering in the area. The first intrusion began on July 3 and Chinese ships left on August 7.
This is the third major intrusion by the Chinese since 2011. In 2011, the Chinese had cut Vietnamese cables; in 2014, Beijing had placed a drilling platform which was later withdrawn.
The same day, France, Germany and the United Kingdom published its joint statement on the situation in the South China Sea.
Accordingly, the joint statement clearly noted that: "We are concerned about the situation in the South China Sea which could lead to insecurity and instability in the region. 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".
As State parties of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), France, Germany, and the United Kingdom 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.
Furthermore, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom 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. Wion/Auswaertiges