SINGAPORE'S Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Tuesday said that it supports the peaceful resolution of claimants in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), without resorting to the threat or use of force.
MFA was responding to media queries over the ruling by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration which ruled that China has no legal basis to claim "historic rights" to islands in the South China Sea. MFA said that Singapore is studying the ruling, and its implications on Singapore and the wider region.
"Singapore is not a claimant state and we do not take sides on the competing territorial claims," said an MFA spokesman. "As a small state, we strongly support the maintenance of a rules-based order that upholds and protects the rights and privileges of all states."
The MFA spokesman added that Singapore values its "long-standing and friendly relations with all parties, bilaterally and in the context of Asean".
"We urge all parties to fully respect legal and diplomatic processes, exercise self-restraint and avoid conducting any activities that may raise tensions in the region," the spokesman said.
"Singapore supports the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the expeditious conclusion of a legally-binding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea."
Read the full statement here.