The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has called for the upholding of the international law such as the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, amid the territorial dispute in the region.
South-east Asian leaders has cited that the 1982 UN oceans treaty should be the basis of the country’s sovereign rights in the South China Sea. A clear call opposing China’s claim of the entire disputed island based on historical grounds.
The position of the ASEAN leaders were issued by the current chairman, Vietnam on Saturday. They held their summit virtually for the first time with Covid-19 and Sea dispute with China high on the list of agenda.
Asean reaffirms the 1982 UNCLOS as a way to determine the rights, jurisdiction and interest on the rich maritime zone. The member states said in a statement that UNCLOS set out the legal framework within which all involving oceans and sea must be carried out.
The 1982 law of the sea agreement are an international agreement that defines the rights of the countries to the world’s ocean and its maritime resources.
Chinese representatives did not immediately commented on the matter. Asean’s call marked a significant boost of the region’s assertion of the rule of law in the disputed islands.
China has recently been ramping up activities to the strategic waters. A move that angered alot of countries in the region as they continue to fight its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. The Chinese were able to build missile-protected island bases in the disputed reefs. The United States has welcomed the statement passed by the ASEAN saying that China should not be allowed to the disputed seas as its maritime empire.