Sri Lanka calls on China to respect international law in South China Sea

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has called on China to respect international law in the South China Sea, where the larger nation has been intimidating smaller regional neighbors over territorial claims and a decision on an arbitration action by the Philippines is due on July 12.

"…Sri Lanka calls for the settlement of disputes and differences through constructive dialogue, consultation and cooperation by the parties concerned in accordance with international laws and practices," Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said in a statement after a meeting with visiting Chinese Premier

"Sri Lanka also appreciates China’s efforts and readiness to promote such dialogue in order to maintain peace and security in the region while upholding the rule of law in inter-state affairs."

On July 12, a decision is due from on an arbitration action by Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration.

China has repeatedly said it does not consider any decision reached by the arbitration court to be legally binding and instead wants to directly deal with the countries concerned.

This week it China is holding combat drills in the South China Sea.

China is in disputed claims over part of South China Sea with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Vietnam in particular has been at the receiving end of Chinese action in the form of oil rigs and ships coming into what the smaller country says are its waters in and sometimes ramming fishing vessels.

China has also blocked action in the ASEAN by influencing Cambodia.

Countries like Vietnam has said that the dispute must be resolved according to international law, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

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Vietnam has insisted on sovereignty over parts of  Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos in the East Sea (South China Sea). (Colombo/July10/2016)

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