Vietnam calls for self-restraint, peaceful solution to lingering sea dispute

By Agencies   September 25, 2016 | 09:00 am GMT+7
Vietnam calls for self-restraint, peaceful solution to lingering sea dispute
Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 24, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

All parties are urged to exercise self-restraint and solve differences by peaceful means.

Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh is urging all parties involved with territorial ownership issues in the South China Sea to exercise self-restraint and solve disputes by peaceful means.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly during its annual ministerial meeting on Saturday, Minh, who is also Vietnam’s foreign minister, asked members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to continue contributing to common efforts to maintain peace, stability and maritime safety and freedom in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.

China routinely outlines the scope of its territorial claims through maps featuring a so-called nine-dash line — a demarcation that includes about 90 percent of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer South China Sea. But these maps have been emphatically rejected by international experts and fly in the face of competing claims by four ASEAN members.

At a meeting with ASEAN leaders earlier this month, U.S. President Barack Obama said an international arbitration ruling on July 12 against China was binding and "helped to clarify maritime rights in the region."

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