Britain urges restraint in South China Sea disputes
Britain has urged claimants of the South China Sea to refrain from the threat or use of force and from unilateral actions, and to uphold international law in resolving their disputes.
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond made the comments during a press briefing with his Vietnamese counterpart, Pham Binh Minh, in Hanoi on Tuesday.
They come at a time when massive land reclamation by China and increased military action in the South China Sea have raised concerns among countries in the region and the United States.
Mr Hammond is on a two-day visit to Vietnam to seek ways to expand trade and investment with the South East Asian country.
Mr Hammond said: "It is our firm view that claimants (of the South China Sea) should refrain from the threat or use of force and from unilateral actions such as deployment of military forces and equipment on disputed maritime features."
He said Britain has "strong national interests in the continued stability and security of this region".