ASEAN chief says China plan on disputed seas escalates tension

JAKARTA Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:09pm IST

Surin Pitsuwan, secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), speaks during a lecture titled ''Raising the ASEAN Value through the Concept of Moderation'', in Kuala Lumpur October 30, 2012. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

Surin Pitsuwan, secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), speaks during a lecture titled ''Raising the ASEAN Value through the Concept of Moderation'', in Kuala Lumpur October 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad

Related Topics

JAKARTA (Reuters) - China's plan to board and search ships that illegally enter what Beijing considers its territory in the disputed South China Sea is a very serious turn of events, the head of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said on Friday.

"My reaction is (this is) certainly an escalation of the tension that has already been building. And it is a very serious turn of events," ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan told Reuters.

"It is extremely important to exercise restraint and to try to approach this development with a level head and be open to listen to concerns of all parties, all sides," he said.

The South China Sea is Asia's biggest potential military trouble spot with several Asian countries claiming sovereignty over waters believed to be rich in oil and gas.

China claims virtually the entire sea. The Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia claim various parts.

(Reporting by Matthew Bigg; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Fighting Ebola

Reuters Showcase

Fighting IS

Fighting IS

U.S. says won't unleash "shock and awe" air campaign in Syria.  Full Article 

Typhoon Kalmaegi

Typhoon Kalmaegi

Typhoon spares Hong Kong, but disrupts business.  Full Article 

Independence Vote

Independence Vote

Ahead of independence vote, Britain pledges state funding to Scotland.  Full Article 

Hungry World

Hungry World

World hunger easing but 1 in 9 people undernourished - food agencies.  Full Article 

Afghan Attack

Afghan Attack

Suicide car bomber kills 3 foreign troops in Afghan capital.  Full Article 

Border Standoff

Border Standoff

India says to defend China border after standoff ahead of Xi visit.  Full Article 

Reconstructing Gaza

Reconstructing Gaza

U.N. says Palestinians, Israelis reach deal on Gaza reconstruction.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage