Vietnam accused China of continuing to ram its boats in disputed waters of the South China Sea and aired video it said showed a Chinese vessel plowing into one of its fishing boats before it sank on May 26.
The Group of Seven nations expressed “deep concern” over the use of force to settle Asian maritime disputes, adding to international pressure on China as it asserts territorial claims across the region.
The risk of territorial disputes damaging trade in Asia is “very real” and the region must focus on shoring up economic links as well as security ties, according to Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.
China’s actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea are “unhelpful,” Australian Defence Minister David Johnston said at a security forum, echoing his U.S. counterpart who called China a destabilizing factor.
Vietnam has prepared evidence for a legal suit challenging China’s claim to waters off the Vietnamese coast and is considering the best time to file it, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said yesterday in an interview.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan would spare no effort in helping Southeast Asian nations secure the seas and pledged strong support for the Philippines and Vietnam in their maritime disputes with China.
Vietnam’s leaders face growing pressure to challenge China in international court, risking economic retaliation by its largest trading partner, after a Vietnamese fishing boat collided with a Chinese ship and sank.