The “militarisation” of the South China Sea is threatening peace in the contested waterway, the EU’s top diplomat said Monday (Aug 5) in Hanoi, echoing warnings from the US as pressure mounts against Beijing’s ambitions in the region. Free seas: The EU has called for freedom of navigation in the disputed South China Sea which Beijing claims most of. (Photo: AFP/Nhac NGUYEN) China has been accused of deploying warships, arming outposts and ramming fishing vessels in the resource-rich sea, sparking ire from other claimants. On Monday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the bloc was concerned over “increasing tension” in the area. “We believe that this tension, this militarisation, is definitely not conducive to a peaceful environment,” she added. Beijing says it has sovereignty over the majority of the sea based on the so-called nine-dash line it uses to back its claims. The long-running spat was centre stage at a meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers last week, where US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged countries to push back against Chinese “coercion” in the sea. Hanoi has emerged as one of Beijing’s most vocal critics in the waterway, a key global shipping route believed to hold… Read full this story
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