US Congressman Eni Faleomavaega has strongly condemned China for violating Vietnam’s sovereignty in the East Sea and called upon the US to make a clear and decisive response to China's acts.

In his press release issued on May 8, Eni Faleomavaega, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, which has broad jurisdiction for US policy affecting the region, including Vietnam and China, strongly criticised China for its May 2 placement of an oil drilling rig in Vietnamese waters and deployment of dozens of naval vessels to support this provocative action.

On May 3 and May 5, China issued notices banning all vessels from entering the area and stating that the rig will conduct exploratory drilling, he said.

“Hai Yang Shi You 981 is anchored within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of Vietnam, about 120 nautical miles from Ly Son island of Vietnam,” he affirmed.

He expressed thank to US Senator John McCain for his leadership in unequivocally stating that China’s territorial claims to these waters have no basis in international law.

“Simply put, China’s provocative actions are an escalation of its intent to threaten peace and maritime security in the East Sea,” he stressed.

The press release also listed a series of China’s other provocative acts in the East Sea, including the escalation of its claims of the ‘nine-dash line’ since 2009, the cutting of the cables of Vietnam’s ‘Binh Minh II’ and ‘Viking II’ ships in May and June 2011, and the establishment of the so-called “Sansha City” in June 2012.

China has also implemented measures to enforce ‘Fishery Law of the People’s Republic of China’ (entering into force since January 2014), enhanced oil explorations in disputed areas, attacked Vietnamese fishing vessels, launched patrol boats, and conducted military exercises in the East Sea to flex its power and deter other claimants, it said.-VNA