Vietnam says South China Sea tensions causing global concerns

Vietnam said “serious developments” in the South China Sea have increased tensions in the region and are triggering concern among the international community.

Many countries and organizations are expressing their stance, which indicate they are worried about threats to peace, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said in an email on Sunday. She was responding to a statement by the U.K., France and Germany on Thursday, which called for restraint in the South China Sea without mentioning any parties.

Chinese and Vietnamese coast guard vessels are engaged in a standoff over a lucrative oil block claimed by Vietnam near its coast. The three European countries said tensions could lead to insecurity and instability in the region, and added the legal framework set out by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea granting several claimants sovereign rights to the waters “must be carried out.”

The U.S. has said China is intimidating other claimants out of developing resources in the South China Sea. Chinese authorities in turn have accused the U.S. of trying to drive a wedge between it and other countries, and said other non-regional nations are “hyping up the tensions.”

Vietnam said it welcomes the participation of other nations.

“The South China Sea has important implications for countries inside and outside the region in terms of economy, security, safety, freedom of aviation and navigation,” Hang said. “Vietnam welcomes and is willing to join other nations and the international community” to maintain peace, stability and security in the region, she said. Nguyen Dieu Tu Uyen, Bloomberg

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