The US Department of State has affirmed that any member of the global community has the right to express concern over China’s provocative acts, which have triggered tensions in the East Sea.

On May 2, China stationed the 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 and 119 nautical miles from Vietnam’s Ly Son Island.

China has so far deployed 86 vessels of various kinds to the area, including military, coast guard, marine surveillance, marine patrol and fishing ships.

The provocative acts by China, including the ramming and firing of water cannons into Vietnamese coast guard ships during their law enforcement missions in the country’s waters have left many Vietnamese ships damaged and nine fisheries surveillance officers injured.

At the department’s daily press briefing in Washington on May 13, spokesperson Jen Psaki denounced China’s accusation that the US has emboldened some countries to take provocative actions.

“The unilateral action that appears to be part of a broader pattern of Chinese behaviour to advance its claims over disputed areas in a matter that, in our view, undermines peace and stability in the region”, she said.

Psake also informed that US Secretary of State John Kerry had a telephone conversation with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on May 11, during which he shared his view that China’s acts were provocative.

About Kerry’s call with his Chinese counterpart Wang Qi, she said Kerry urged both sides to de-escalate tensions, to engage in high-level dialogue, to ensure safe conduct by their vessels at sea, and to resolve the dispute through peaceful means.-VNA