France, Germany voice 'serious concerns' over Ayungin incident

MANILA – The German and French Embassies in Manila expressed "serious concerns" on the latest Ayungin incident involving three Chinese Coast Guard ships that blocked and fired water cannon on two Filipino boats.

"Germany and France share serious concerns on latest incident caused by 3 Chinese vessels against 2 Philippine supply boats in South China Sea. We call to refrain from conduct that endangers stability in Indo-Pacific," German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel said Saturday night.

"(We) firmly support dialogue between stakeholders, on the basis of international law," she added.

The statement was tweeted separately by the German envoy and French Ambassador to the Philippines Michèle Boccoz.

Meanwhile, the Australian Embassy in Manila also asserted the 2016 arbitral ruling in the South China Sea and expressed solidarity with Manila.

"Australia has consistently expressed support for UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), the 2016 South China Sea Arbitral Award and an open and inclusive region," Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson AO said Saturday.

"We continue to work with and support our Philippines partners on maritime issues and are concerned with recent destabilizing incidents in the South China Sea," he added.

Earlier, the United States and Japanese governments also raised their concerns and called for South China Sea parties to adhere to international law.

In a presser hours after the Philippine side publicly protested Beijing's actions in the Ayungin last Nov. 18, Chinese Foreign Minister Zhao Lijian said the two nations are "in communication" on the issue. (PNA)



Source: Business Diary Philippines

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