Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in Spratly Islands in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by ​US Navy (Source: reuters.com)
Washington D.C. (VNA) – The US has urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to extend his non-militarisation pledge to all of the East Sea.

Dan Kritenbrink, President Barack Obama’s top Asia advisor, said at a conference at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC that it would be good if President Xi extends his non-militarisation pledge across the East Sea.

“We’re going to encourage our Chinese friends and other countries in the region to refrain from taking steps that raise tensions," he said.

He also reiterated that China should respect an international court ruling expected later this year on its dispute with the Philippines over the East Sea.

Kritenbrink issued the call a week after the US expressed its concerns over China’s deployment of surface-to-air missiles, fighter planes and radar on islands in the strategic waterway.

President Xi had pledged during his US state visit last September not to militarise Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, but US officials have since said they see military intent in China’s building of air strips and installation of radar there.

On February 25, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Le Hai Binh stressed that Vietnam has indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa archipelagoes.

China, regardless of objections and concerns raised by Vietnam and the international community, repeatedly have performed deeds that not only seriously violate Vietnam’s sovereignty and accelerate militarisation in the East Sea, but also threaten peace and stability in the region as well as maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom in the Sea.

“Vietnam strongly opposes to the actions that seriously infringed its sovereignty and demands China have responsible and constructive words and deeds in maintaining peace and stability in the region and the world in respect for international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea,” Binh said.-VNA