Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on all parties concerned to solve disputes in the East Sea through peaceful means to maintain stability in Asia.

Addressing a press conference following talks with his Philippine counterpart Benigno Aquino III in Manila, the Philippines on May 23, Yudhoyono affirmed the stance of Indonesia and ASEAN of peacefully settling disputes without use of force and with respect to international law.

Earlier, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said his country will do its utmost to ease the current tension in the East Sea, after China illegally stationed its Haiyang Shiyou-981 drilling rig in Vietnam’s waters.

He underlined the need for peace talks, without the use of force or threat of using force, to solve disputes based on cooperation to bring the East Sea issue under control.

According to the FM, tensions between Vietnam and China are not only a bilateral issue, but also a regional matter, so ASEAN should take special responsibility to ensure both sides enter talks for a settlement.

He affirmed that China’s act obviously violated the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), despite Beijing often saying that it is committed to implementing the declaration.

On May 2, China stationed the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

Chinese ships have repeatedly rammed and fired water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships which are carrying out their law enforcement missions in Vietnam’s waters, leaving many Vietnamese boats damaged and many officers injured.-VNA