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Vanuatu supports China’s proposition on South China Sea

The Vanuatu Government says it fully understands and support China’s proposition on the issue of South China Sea.

And Vanuatu has called on parties directly concerned to stay committed to open friendly dialogue and peaceful settlement of disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests around the area.
In an unprecedented statement concerning International territorial Maritime Boundary disputes, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas says while respecting the rights of parties to independently choose the means of the disputes settlement, Vanuatu respects China’s 2006 declaration in light of Article 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the south sea (UNCLOS). He said as such any prior consent of the parties to the dispute must be sought before proceeding with any third party settlement.

“Vanuatu maintains that settlement of territorial and maritime disputes must be done through friendly consultation and negotiations and in accordance with international law and all bilateral agreements including the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) by parties directly concerned,” said the prime minister.

He said Vanuatu also maintains the principle that relevant claims on any territorial and maritime rights and interests must be based on the historical and cultural facts.  

“Any arbitrary imposition of unilateral measures including instituting legal proceedings against other parties in the dispute run contrary to the principle of mutual understanding, mutual dialogue and friendly consultation as enshrined in the principles of UNCLOS” said PM Tabimasmas.

He made the statement prior to his departure for the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) meeting in Papua New Guinea next week.

Last month the ACP Council of Ministers adopted a resolution directing the ACP Secretariat to take steps to support Member States in negotiating improved bilateral Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements with the EU.

Among many other issues, it also discussed the territorial tensions between Belize and Guatemala, as well as between Guyana and Venezuela, with Ministers confirming their support for the territorial integrity of ACP Member States in these disputes.


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