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G7 calls out China over ‘intimidation, militarization’ in SCS

MANILA: The Group of Seven (G7) has called out China over its militarization and ‘intimidation activities’ in the South China Sea (SCS), as it took note of Beijing’s “dangerous maneuvers’ and water cannon use against Filipino vessels carrying out routine resupply missions to the Ayungin Shoal.

In a communiqué issued on Friday, the foreign ministers of the G7 states opposed China’s ‘dangerous use’ of coast guard and maritime militia in asserting its claim over the vital waterway.

‘We are seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and reiterate our strong opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion,’ it read.

‘We continue to oppose China’s dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia in the South China Sea and its repeated obstruction of countries’ high seas freedom of navigation and we express serious concern about the increasing use of dangerous maneuvers and water cannons against Philippines vessels in this regard.”

The group emph
asized that there is no legal basis for China’s expansive maritime claims in the South China Sea and reaffirmed its support for the 2016 Arbitral Award.

‘We reiterate that the award rendered by the Arbitral Tribunal on July 12, 2016, is a significant milestone, which is legally binding upon the parties to those proceedings and a useful basis for peacefully resolving disputes between the parties,’ it said.

The Arbitral Tribunal, through the landmark award, ruled that Beijing’s nine-dash line exceeds the geographic and substantive limits of its maritime entitlements provided for by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The invisible demarcation outlines China’s extensive claims over the South China Sea, including large parts of the Philippines’ 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

G7 represents the world’s leading industrialized democracies. It consists of Canada, France, the United States, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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