ASEAN raises concerns over South China Sea disputes

May 13, 2014
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NAY PYI TAW, Burma – Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders expressed "serious concern" over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, according to a statement released Monday (May 12th), following a Sunday summit, AFP reported.

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    ASEAN called on all parties involved to "exercise self-restraint, not to resort to threat(s) or use of force, and to resolve disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law".

    The meeting came days after Vietnam and the Philippines squared off against China in different areas of the sea.

    In remarks to the summit, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung urged his ASEAN counterparts to protest China's controversial decision to move an oil drilling rig into waters also claimed by Hanoi.

    Meanwhile, Philippine prosecutors filed environmental crime charges Monday against nine Chinese fishermen arrested in the South China Sea, despite Beijing's warning of a dire effect on relations.

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