US Secretary of State John Kerry (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Washington D.C. (VNA)
– US Secretary of State John Kerry announced on February 23 that the militarisation of facilities in the East Sea does not help resolve maritime claims.

He told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the US is encouraging the peaceful resolution of competing maritime claims in the East Sea.

The same day, Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, condemned China’s behaviour in the Asia-Pacific.

A top-ranking democrat in the committee, Sen. Jack Reed, said it seems clear that China does not intend to be a “responsible stakeholder” in the region.

Admiral Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command, said China’s activities in the East Sea are changing the “operational landscape”.

These statements were made as Washington prepares for a visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi from February 23 to 25.

In reply to reporters’ queries on China’s construction of a military helicopter base on Quang Hoa Island and its deployment of HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles on Phu Lam Island of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa Archipelago, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Hai Binh said Vietnam demands China immediately end these wrongdoings.

“Vietnam is deeply concerned over China’s aforementioned activities, which seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereignty, and threaten peace and stability in the region, as well as navigation and aviation security, safety and freedom in the East Sea”, he stressed.

On February 19, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a diplomatic note to the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to protest China’s infringements on Vietnam’s sovereignty on Hoang Sa Archipelago.

The same day, Vietnam’s permanent mission to the UN sent a diplomatic note to the UN Secretary-General proposing the official circulation of the Vietnamese foreign ministry’s diplomatic note.-VNA