The parties involved in disputes in the East Sea need to exercise restraint and settle disputes by peaceful means, through dialogues and in line with international law, said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The UN Secretary General made the call i n the framework of meetings on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit, the East Asia Summit (EAS) and related meetings in Malaysia on November 22, after China said it would continue construction of military and civil bases on the artificial islands it built in the East Sea.
Previously, US President Barack Obama said concerned countries should stop building artificial islands and militarising their claims in the East Sea.
"For the sake of regional stability, the claimants should halt reclamation, construction and militarisation of disputed areas," Obama told a meeting with leaders of the 10 member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Kuala Lumpur on November 21.
He also supported the creation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
Last month, a US guided missile destroyer, USS Lassen, navigated within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands China has been building in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, the AFP news agency reported on October 27.
This was seen as the first concrete move in the US’s plan to conduct regular patrol activities in the East Sea.
Meanwhile, Reuters said the patrol carried out by the destroyer USS Lassen approached Su Bi (Subi) Reef and Vanh Khan (Mischief) Reef in the Truong Sa archipelago. Additional patrols would follow in the coming time.
On October 29, in reply to reporters’ queries on Vietnam’s response to the US ship’s voyage, Ministry Spokesperson Le Hai Binh said as a sovereign state over the Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in the East Sea and a member of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Vietnam respects the freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea on basis of the relevant provisions of the convention and in accordance with the coastal states’ regulations.
Vietnam calls for parties involved to contribute to the maintenance of peace, stability, security, and navigation and aviation safety in the East Sea on the basis of international law, including the UNCLOS and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), he stated.