EU Warns Against Escalation in South China Sea

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union made its strongest call yet for China and other Asian nations to resolve their dispute over the South China Sea, a position Brussels insists is neutral but that the United States is likely to welcome after pressing the bloc to speak up.

At a summit of EU and Asian foreign ministers, Beijing escaped any public admonishment over its construction and militarization of islands in the South China Sea but the EU’s foreign policy chief took a firm line in the bloc’s first public comments since Washington patrolled the area this month.

“We are committed to a maritime order based on the principles of international law,” Federica Mogherini told a news conference when asked about the dispute. “We oppose any attempt to assert territorial or maritime claims through the use of intimidation, coercion, force or any unilateral actions which would cause further friction,” she said.

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