China was warned by many the United States and the European Union that it should respect a ruling later this year on its dispute with the Philippines over territory in the South China Sea, reports Reuters.
In a message has been sent to China, which is attempting to turn the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea into military strongholds, US warned that its self-serving actions are unacceptable.
With the South China Sea in mind, a joint statement by the leaders of ASEAN set forth the importance of maintaining maritime security and safety by ensuring the right to the freedom of navigation, nonmilitarization and self-restraint. It avoided making pointed references to China but implicitly issued a warning regarding China's outrageous behavior.
Australia has also send a strong warning to China over controversial land reclamation program. Defence Minister, Kevin Andrews, said he had personally passed on Canberra’s strong concerns to Beijing at a scheduled meeting with China’s ambassador to Canberra, Ma Zhaoxu.
New Zealand strongly urged China to refrain from stoking tensions in the South China Sea after its apparent deployment of surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island.
New Zealand, the first developed country to recognise China as a market economy and to sign a bilateral free trade deal, was leveraging its relationship with China to urge measures to lower tensions.
China claims virtually all the South China Sea and rejects the authority of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague hearing the dispute, even though Beijing has ratified the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea on which the case is based.
China disputes South China Sea territory with several other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as the Philippines.