UK joins France and Germany to express concern over South China Sea tensions

  1. UK, France and Germany have expressed concern over prevailing South China Sea situation.
  2. This statement came after Chinese and Vietnamese coast guard vessels are engaged in a standoff in South China sea over a lucrative oil blocks claimed by Vietnam near its coast.
  3. The three countries have also said that the legal framework set out by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea(UNCLOS) granting the countries sovereign rights to the waters must be carried out.
  4. South China Sea is a portion of the Pacific ocean which is bordered by some of the ASEAN countries and China.The dispute involves contesting claims on the islands in the region by 7 countries which are Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
  5. In 2016,a Permanent Court of Arbitration constituted under the UNCLOS had rejected China’s claim to own the entire South China Sea.However, China had rejected the ruling and has built military bases on both sides of the sea to enforce its claim.
  6. The law of the Sea Treaty formally known as United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) was adopted in 1982 to establish jurisdictional limits over the ocean areas.India became a signatory to the UNCLOS in 1982.
  7. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment and the management of marine natural resources.