European speakers said that the EU’s growing engagement in Asia in general and the East Sea in particular in the recent past aim to safeguard international law, free trade, and a rule-based order in the region.
Participants held that ASEAN countries have tried to keep tension in the East Sea under control while focusing on dealing with COVID-19, maintaining the supply chain, and reviving the economy.
ASEAN continues to promote multilateralism and the bloc’s centrality to maintain its status amid growing competition among world powers while boosting maritime cooperation on the basis of international law with the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) serving as the legal foundation for activities at sea, they said.
Many scholars affirmed that UNCLOS has a universal and comprehensive value governing all marine issues.
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