Thailand, Indonesia call for peace and stability in South China Sea ahead of tribunal ruling

Activists carrying anti-China and US placards march towards the Chinese consulate in a protest in Manila, on July 12, 2016.
Activists carrying anti-China and US placards march towards the Chinese consulate in a protest in Manila, on July 12, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK/JAKARTA - Thailand and Indonesia called on all parties to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, ahead of a tribunal ruling on Tuesday (July 12) in a case brought by The Philippines against China’s claims in the disputed waters.

“Thailand believes that the ultimate goal for all that would benefit the peoples should be to render the South China Sea a Sea of Peace, Stability and Sustainable Development,’’ said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

“The situation in the South China Sea should be addressed through concerted efforts and by every means, on the basis of mutual trust and confidence as well as equitable benefit, to reflect the nature of the long standing Asean-China relations,’’ it said.

“The full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) should by all means be stressed, and the need for all parties concerned to work expeditiously for the early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) is of paramount importance to allow us to emerge stronger together,’’ it added.

 

Indonesia urged all parties to exercise restraint and not act in a way that will raise tension, according to its foreign ministry.  It also called on all parties to continue to maintain peace and stability in the region.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague is  set to release its final decision on the case  brought by The  Philippines challenging  China’s claims in the South China Sea. Manila lodged its suit against Beijing in 2013, saying  China was in violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the  Sea (Unclos), to which both countries are signatories.

China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the South China Sea.  Its claims were first enshrined in a map drawn in the 1940s with a Nine-Dash Line stretching  south from  China and encircling almost all of the  sea.