South China Sea tensions could affect regional stability, warns Ban

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (second from right, on dais) attends the 11th East Asia Summit, in Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Efforts must be made to ensure that the dispute over the South China Sea territory does not affect regional relations and stability, the UN Secretary-General has said.

Ban Ki-moon made the remarks at the 11th Summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Laos.

Jocelyne Sambira has the story.

China claims it has "historic rights" over the islands and waters that make up the South China Sea, a busy trade route and resource –rich territory. 

Viet Nam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have similar territorial and maritime claims. 

In 2013, the Philippines lodged a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), accusing China of violating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

In July this year, the tribunal ruled that the Asian giant's sole claim to the territory was unjustified. 

China has consistently rejected the court’s jurisdiction in the matter. 

UN Chief Ban Ki-moon urged all parties to exercise "the utmost restraint" and to ease tensions through dialogue with one another. 

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations. 

Duration: 49″

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