ASEAN Navy chiefs comment on South China Sea territory disputes

Naval leaders from the ASEAN member states, meeting in Hanoi to discuss regional maritime security issues, have commented on China's territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Vietnam's navy chief, Nguyen Van Hien, said during the opening remarks that the meeting comes as "security in the East Sea is extremely complicated," referring to the South China Sea by its Vietnamese name.

Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz of Malaysia urged the People's Republic of China to “respect the sovereignty and integrity” of regional nations and Vice Admiral Alexander Pama, commander of the Philippine navy, was quoted as saying ASEAN solidarity is key to solving the nations' conflicting claims.

Beijing claims sovereignty over the entire sea, putting it at odds with ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, which claim waters adjacent to their shores.