The South China Sea region has finally gotten the attention of the G7 leaders who consequently all agreed for a stronger message to the disputed region. Additionally, Japan and the United Kingdom have entered the fold with the latter saying that China must honor the ruling over the said region.
G7 Sends a Strong Message
Group for Seven or G7 leaders agreed in the previous week about sending a strong message on the maritime dispute in the South China Sea region. China has been increasingly assertive about its territorial claims in the region which has alarmed several nations.
“Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe led discussion on the current situation in the South China Sea and East China Sea. Other G7 leaders said it is necessary for G7 to issue a clear signal,” Reuters quoted Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko during a briefing with the press.
During the news conference, Abe also noted that Japan is open to China’s peaceful rise but emphasized that the country will be against any acts that attempt to alter the status quo through force. He also pushed for honoring the rule of law.
Along with this, the United States has also expressed concerns on the China’s activities in the disputed region. Nonetheless, Beijing downplayed such.
China Downplays Opposition
“China is resolutely opposed to individual countries hyping up the South China Sea for personal gain,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
As the G7 leaders expressed a strong stand on the matter, another report from The Guardian claimed British Prime Minister David Cameron saying that China should honor the ruling on the South China Sea. The official said that the rest of the world powers expect China to accept The Hague’s judgment regarding the territorial dispute with the Philippines.
“We want to encourage China to be part of that rules-based world. We want to encourage everyone to abide by these adjudications. I’m sure that will be something that will be discussed,” said Cameron.