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Statements of EU officials on the Arbitration Ruling
Thursday, 14 July 2016 15:05    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail
  • Statement of President Donald Tusk relative to the arbitration decision on the South China Sea contained in his remarks at the EU-China summit in Beijing

"Finally, on the South China Sea we will see an important ruling today. Therefore let me repeat this: The rule-based international order is in our common interest and both China and the EU have to protect it, as this is in our people's best interest."


  • Statement of HRVP Federica Mogherini relative to the arbitration decision on the South China Sea contained in her speech at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, China.

"And so I come to a third priority, beyond managing crises and working for resilience: it is working for a better global governance based on multilateralism and on international law. Beijing is a crucial interlocutor towards a more multilateral and cooperative world order. We see it every day, being a crucial permanent member of the UN Security Council. I saw it first-hand during the negotiations with Iran and we are close to the one-year anniversary of the Iranian deal we concluded on the 14th July last year, with a key contribution of China not only in reaching the deal during the negotiations but also on the implementation of the deal. And the lessons we learnt on that occasion and afterwards is that when all world powers cooperate towards the same goal, within a multilateral framework, within the international norms and rules, our potential is really immense. What was deemed to be impossible becomes true and implementable, because the deal was not only reached but after six months it was also implemented. So we only need to strengthen and deepen such cooperation at international level and multilateralism. To do so, it is crucial that we all respect our international commitments, implement the decisions that are taken collectively and abide by the same set of rules. This is why our European Union insists on the need to address all maritime disputes in a peaceful way and in full respect of international norms and law. A violation of global rules makes the entire international system weaker; it makes conflict more likely; and it makes the whole of us less secure.

This is why on the South China Sea the European Union underlines the fundamental importance of upholding the freedoms, rights and duties established in UNCLOS, in particular the freedoms of navigation and overflight, and why the European Union - as you probably know very well - does not take any position on sovereignty aspects related to claims on land and maritime space. The European Union does call upon the parties to fully respect decisions rendered by the relevant courts and tribunals and, in particular, we always invite our partners and friends to settle disputes in a peaceful and cooperative manner and avoid escalations that would be detrimental for the entire region."


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