The G7 nations have come together to condemn Chinese activity in the disputed South China Sea
The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) countries issued a joint statement on April 11th after a summit in Japan, denouncing “provocative unilateral actions” like island building and construction of military facilities in disputed areas. While China was not explicitly named, it was clearly the intended target.
China has responded angrily to the G7 statement
China released a statement saying it was “strongly dissatisfied” by the “irresponsible words” of the G7 members. The Chinese Foreign Ministry went on to summon diplomatic representatives of all member nations to express its anger and clarified China’s position on the South China Sea dispute.
However, this statement has been welcomed by other countries in the region
Other countries in the region like Vietnam and Indonesia, whose own claims are threatened by China’s claim over most of the South China Sea, have applauded the G7 statement. The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry called for the “obedience to the law in seas and oceans.”
This comes in the wake of China’s massive expansion in disputed territory
While the international community considers China’s claims illegitimate, Chinese authorities have embarked on a huge program of construction and fortification on previously uninhabited islands. This has worried its neighbours, who have initiated such programs of their own.
The situation is tense, but nobody wants it escalate to violence
There is currently a nervous standoff as all disputing parties dig into their positions. However, the South China Sea is crucial waterway for international trade and commerce, and none of the countries want to risk economic disruption due to conflict.
Take a look to refresh your memory about the South China dispute.