G7 releases strong words against coercive, unilateral actions in East, South China Sea

“We, the Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union, are convinced that we can comprehensively counter threats to maritime security only if we follow a cooperative, rules-based cross-sector approach and coordinate our actions nationally, regionally and globally,” foreign chiefs of G7 said in a joint statement released April 15. G7 foreign ministers had a two-day meeting at Lübeck, Germany.

“We continue to observe the situation in the East and South China Seas and are concerned by any unilateral actions, such as large scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions,” they added.

They expressed strong opposition against any state who uses coercion and force to assert territorial and maritime claims.

They also called on states to “fully implement any decisions rendered by the relevant courts and tribunals which are binding on them. We underline the importance of coastal states refraining from unilateral actions that cause permanent physical change to the marine environment in areas pending final delimitation.”

The G7 ministers also support efforts ASEAN states and China to establish the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea.