© Reuters. An attendant walks previous EU and China flags forward of the EU-China Excessive-level Financial Dialogue in Beijing
By Yew Lun Tian
BEIJING (Reuters) – The European Union known as out China on Saturday for endangering peace within the South China Sea and urged all events to abide by a 2016 tribunal ruling which rejected most of China’s declare to sovereignty within the sea, however which Beijing has rejected.
The EU final week launched a brand new coverage aimed toward stepping up its affect within the Indo-Pacific area to counter China’s rising energy.
The Philippines on Friday protested to China over its failure to withdraw what it known as as “threatening” boats believed to be manned by maritime militia across the disputed Whitsun Reef, which Manila calls the Julian Felipe Reef.
“Tensions within the South China Sea, together with the latest presence of huge Chinese language vessels at Whitsun Reef, endanger peace and stability within the area,” a EU spokesperson mentioned in a press release on Saturday.
EU reiterated its sturdy opposition to “unilateral actions that might undermine regional stability and worldwide rules-based order”.
It urged all events to resolve disputes peacefully in accordance with worldwide legislation, and highlighted a 2016 worldwide arbitration that had dominated in favor of the Philippines whereas invalidating most of China’s claims within the South China Sea.
China rejected EU’s accusation that its ships at Whitsun Reef, which China calls Niu’E Jiao, had endangered peace and safety.
The Chinese language Mission to the EU in a press release on Saturday reiterated that the reef is a part of China’s Nansha Islands, or Spratly Islands, and that it was “affordable and lawful” for Chinese language fishing boats to function there and shelter from the wind.
The Chinese language assertion additionally insisted that China’s sovereignty, rights and pursuits within the South China Sea had been shaped within the “lengthy course of historical past and in step with worldwide legislation” and rejected the 2016 tribunal ruling as “null and void”.
“The South China Sea mustn’t turn into a device for sure international locations to include and suppress China, a lot much less a wrestling floor for major-power rivalry,” the Chinese language assertion mentioned.
China is more and more fearful that Europe and different international locations are heeding U.S. President Joe Biden’s name for a “coordinated method” in the direction of China, which had to date materialised within the type of sanctions over its safety crackdown in Hong Kong and therapy of Uyghur Muslims.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken final month mentioned Washington “stands by its ally, the Philippines,” within the face of China’s massing maritime militia at Whitsun Reef.
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