Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
VIENTIANNE, Laos —Japan is “seriously concerned” about Beijing’s increasingly muscular claims in the South China Sea, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Asian leaders Wednesday.
Beijing insists it has sovereign rights to almost all of the strategically vital waters, where the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims.
It also has a simmering territorial row with Tokyo over disputed islands in the East China Sea.
“I am seriously concerned with the continuing attempts to change unilaterally the status quo in the East and South China Sea,” Abe said at a regional summit in Laos hosted by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“I hope that both parties to the dispute in the South China Sea will abide by the ruling by the China-Philippines tribunal court, which legally binds the parties to the dispute, and it will lead to a peaceful settlement of the dispute,” he added, according to a briefing by foreign press secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura.
The gathering in Laos is the first ASEAN meeting since an international court ruled in July that China’s claims to the sea had no legal basis, and that its artificial island building program in the waters was illegal.
It was a sweeping victory for the Philippines, which filed the case in 2013.
China has ignored the ruling, announcing penalties for “illegal” fishing in the sea and continuing its reclamation activities.
Japan’s dispute with China is over uninhabited islands controlled by Tokyo. They are known as the Senkakus in Japan and as the Diaoyus in China.
China Coast Guard — In this photo released by the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters of Japan, a Chinese coastguard vessel sails near the disputed islands in the East China Sea on August 6, 2016. Japan said this ship was watching over more than 200 Chinese fishing boats fishing illegally in Japanese waters. AP
China J-11 Flanker fighters operating from Woody Island located in the northern portion of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines and other nations have complained about China’s militarization in the South China Sea
Vietnam fishing boat — A fishing boat from Quang Ngai province with six sailors on board was sunk by Chinese vessels on while fishing near the Paracel (Hoang Sa) Islands, on or about 10 July 2016. Than Nien photo
Sinocentrism (中華思想) Criticized — “Chinese have a casual Disregard for Vietnamese and Filipinos as Human Beings”
Tags: "no legal basis" for China's claims, ASEAN, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Brunei, China's coast guard, China's militarization, China's nine-dash line is not valid, Chinese fishing vessels, Diaoyus, East China Sea, energy, food security, HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles, illegal fishing, J-11 fighters, Japan, Malaysia, Obama, oil and gas, permanent court for arbitration, Philippines, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Senkakus, South China Sea, Taiwan, Vietnam