The UK Government on May 12 declared its backing for the European Union’s statement on the tension in the East Sea and raised the issue with the Chinese Government.

On the UK Foreign Minitry’s website, Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire said China’s installation of an oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf had escalated tensions in the East Sea.

The UK has supported the EU’s May 8 statement and has raised the issue with the Chinese Government at ministerial level.

The statement by the Spokesperson of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said, “The EU is concerned that unilateral actions could affect the security environment in the region, as evidenced by reports about the recent collision of Vietnamese and Chinese vessels.”

The statement came amid the tensions in the East Sea following China’s illegal placement of the Haiyang Shiyou – 981 oil rig and a fleet of ships, including military vessels, in Vietnam’s waters.

The spokesperson urged all parties concerned to seek peaceful and cooperative solutions in accordance with international law, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and to continue ensuring safety and freedom of navigation.

“We also call on the parties to undertake de-escalating measures and refrain from any unilateral action which would be detrimental to peace and stability in the region,” the statement said, adding that the EU will keep following the developments closely.-VNA