“We...took note of the concerns expressed by some Ministers on the land reclamations and escalation of activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region,’’ the foreign ministers said in a statement issued after their discussions in Vientiane.
"We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and over - flight above the East Sea (international name: South China Sea). We further reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),'' the ministers said.
They also stressed "the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities, including land reclamation that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the East Sea."
The statement, however, did not mention the ruling on July 12 by an arbitration tribunal that rejected China's vast claims in the East Sea in a case filed by the Philippines at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague.