The White House said on May 14 that the tension caused by China’s illegal placement of its oil rig about 120 miles off Vietnam's coast needs to be resolved through dialogue, not intimidation.

At his daily news briefing, Spokesman Jay Carney said the US is not a party to the dispute but President Barack Obama, in his recent Asia tour, repeatedly stressed the need for peaceful dialogue on various disputes involving China and the East Sea.

On May 13, US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said Secretary John Kerry, in a phone call to Foreign Minister Wang of China, described China’s bringing of the oil rig and numerous vessels to the location was provocative, and urged both sides to de-escalate tensions, to engage in high-level dialogue, and to resolve the dispute through peaceful means.

On May 2, China stationed the Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

Besides, it has deployed a large number of ships of various kinds to the area, including military, coast guard, marine surveillance, marine patrol and fisheries that are backed by rescue, transport, refuelling and fishing ships.

Chinese ships have repeatedly rammed and fired water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard and fisheries surveillance ships which are carrying out their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters, leaving many Vietnamese ships damaged and nine fisheries surveillance officers injured.-VNA