Fiery Cross reef, located in ​Vietnam's Spratly Islands in the ​East Sea, is shown in a satellite image taken September 3, 2015. (Photo: Reuters/VNA)

Tokyo (VNA) – Japan, Australia and India on February 26 agreed on the importance of maintaining the rule of law in the East Sea and shared “strong concerns” over tensions in the region amid China’s rising assertive move in the sea.

“We shared strong concerns about moves to unilaterally change the status quo that would lead to destablisation in the region”, Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki told reporters after talks with secretary of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Varghese and Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Tokyo.

“We also share the need to establish new rules in the region to secure the rule of law and the freedom of navigation”, Saiki added, referring to the ongoing discussions between China and ASEAN to conclude the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Le Hai Binh told reporters on February 25 that China’s acts, regardless of objections and concerns raised by Vietnam and the international community, not only seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereignty and accelerate militarisation in the East Sea, but also threaten peace and stability in the region as well as maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom in the Sea.

“Vietnam is strongly opposed to the actions that seriously infringe its sovereignty and demands China be responsible and constructive in words and deeds in maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world, and with respect for international law,” the spokesman stressed while again reiterating Vietnam’s indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes.-VNA