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East Sea issue must be settled based on int’l regulations: experts

Experts reiterated the significance of respecting international regulations in settling disputes in the East Sea at a recent conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Representatives from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, the US and Vietnam voiced their concern over the recent complicated developments in the waters at the international conference themed “The New Maritime Geopolitical Theater” on October 24.

The event was held by the Maritime Institute of Malaysia, the Japanese Embassy and Australian High Commission in Malaysia.

Deputy head of the Institute for East Sea Studies under the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam To Anh Tuan stressed that among marine issues rising in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, disputes in the East Sea are the most serious threat to the regional peace and security.

Tuan pointed out disputes in the East Sea engage the highest number of parties as compared to other disputes in the region, while China, as a member of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982), has denied to obey principles set in the convention.

Besides, security in the East Sea also impacts that in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, he added.

According to Tuan, there will be a giant stride in building trust and promoting peaceful and stable environment in the region if a Code of Conduct on the East Sea (COC) is adopted. However, COC is not used to address disputes of claimants but to regulate code of conduct of each party.

To this end, he laid stress on the use of peaceful means in line with international law, including UNCLOS 1982, to solve the issue.

“Threat or use of force only makes the situation more complex”, he said.