A scholar from an Indian independent, non-profit and apolitical research centre has accused China of escalating tension in the East Sea by its deployment of drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 and a large number of various ships there.

“With the deployment of the 1 billion USD oil rig platform 'Haiyang Shiyou-981', China has chosen to sharply escalate tension in the region,” Jayadeva Ranade, President of the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy (CCAS), has told a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in New Delhi.

He added that the 81 Chinese armed vessels accompanying the oil rig as escort also conveyed an unmistakably tough message to all countries in the region that Beijing is intent on asserting its territorial claims, if necessary by the use of force or threat of use of force.

According to the scholar, countries in the region should anticipate a situation in the near future where China dominates the Asia-Pacific region's maritime area and controls the sea lanes.

He said in view of China's size, the other countries do not appear to have many options unless they collaborate to ensure that international and commercial sea lanes are freely navigable, adding that they could also collaborate to try and ensure that contested territorial claims --whether on land or sea -- are not forcibly resolved.

This will be possible if all the countries in the region decide to jointly discuss these issues with Beijing and form a joint maritime coastal guard, he stressed.-VNA