Press release

UK speaks in support of EU statement on tensions in South China Sea

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Office Minister of State comments on recent incidents in the South China Sea.

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Further to the statement by the Spokesperson of the EU High Representative on South China Sea Tensions on 8 May, Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire said:

The installation of a Chinese oil rig in disputed waters this week has led to increased tensions in the South China Sea. The UK supports the EU statement issued on 8 May, and has raised the issue with the Chinese government at Ministerial level. We urge all parties to exercise restraint and seek to de-escalate the situation.

Statement by the Spokesperson of the EU High Representative on South China Sea Tensions, 8 May 2014:

We are concerned about recent incidents involving China and Vietnam relating to the movements of the Chinese oil rig HD981.

In particular, the EU is concerned that unilateral actions could affect the security environment in the region, as evidenced by reports about the recent collision of Vietnamese and Chinese vessels.

We urge all parties concerned to seek peaceful and cooperative solutions in accordance with international law, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and to continue ensuring safety and freedom of navigation.

We also call on the parties to undertake de‐escalating measures and refrain from any unilateral action which would be detrimental to peace and stability in the region.

The EU will keep following these developments closely.

Further information

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Published 10 May 2014