G-7 leaders express concern over South China Sea, urge peace

The leaders of the Group of Seven advanced industrial countries are expressing concern over China's increasingly assertive activity in the East and South China seas, renewing their warnings against one-sided attempts to change the situation, and emphasizing the importance of resolving territorial disputes peacefully.

In a declaration wrapping up their annual summit, the G-7 leaders called for regional and international cooperation on preserving freedom of navigation in the regional seas and cooperating to use the ocean in a sustainable way.

China's increasingly assertive maritime presence in those waters is viewed as a looming risk for possible conflict.

The construction of islands on land reclaimed in the South China Sea was not formally on the G-7 agenda but officials indicated it was a concern.