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S China Sea: Leaders oppose ‘unilateral action’

world Updated: May 28, 2016 06:58 IST

ISE-SHIMA: Leaders of the group of G7 said they are concerned about the situation in the East and South China seas and urged states to refrain from unilateral measures in reference to China taking aggressive positions on maritime claims during their two-day summit that concluded here on Friday.

The leaders of the most advanced economies of the world — US, UK, Japan, Canada, Germany, Italy and France — shared their “strong sense of concerns” about the outlook for global economy and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said “the contraction of world economy” is the “most worrisome risk”.

With Asia hosting the summit after eight years and most countries in the region engaged in territorial disputes with China in the South and East China seas, the summit deliberations on foreign policy had a great deal of accent on maritime security.

“We are concerned about the situation in East and South China seas and emphasise the fundamental importance of peaceful management and settlement of disputes,” the leaders said in their declaration.

The declaration reiterated the grouping’s commitment to maintain a rules-based maritime order. “We affirm the importance of states making and clarifying their claims based on international law, refraining from unilateral actions which could increase tensions and not using force or coercion in trying to settle disputes,” it said.

The European countries do not share the strong position against China advocated by Japan and the US. Opening the first session of the summit on Thursday, Abe had said the Chinese positions on maritime claims amounted to “unilateral challenges” to the “international systems we have created.”

Abe said G7 industrial powers share a strong sense of crisis during. Calling for coordinated efforts to increase the demand, he said “the most worrisome risk is the contraction of global economy”.

Abe talked about falling oil prices and said developing countries are facing a crisis that needs concerted efforts. He referred to Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, which preceded the 2008 global financial crisis.

First Published: May 28, 2016 06:58 IST