During the recently concluded Summit of ASEAN with United States, Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Russia, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that countries involve in disputes within South China sea should exercise self restraint and avoid unilateral actions.
“We expect [parties involve] to exercise self-restraint against action that could undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea,” Abe said.
“Just as many countries have expressed concern, unilateral action continues in the South China Sea,” the Japanese President added without mentioning China.
However, China’s response was unexpected. “The situation in the South China Sea is on the whole stable, and the freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea is ensured,” said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang representing President Xi Jinping.
United States President Barack Obama shares view with Abe. Obama appeals to Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam to lower the tension, ensure maximum self-restraint and address disputes based on international law, according to ASEAN diplomatic sources.