US Senator John McCain on May 7 released a statement criticising China for its recent acts to intentionally escalate tensions in the East Sea.

“ China’s decision to begin drilling for oil off the coast of Vietnam, and its deployment of dozens of naval vessels to support that provocative action, is deeply concerning and serves only to escalate tensions in the East Sea,” the senator said.

Chinese ships have swarmed and rammed Vietnamese coastguard vessels in yet another instance of aggressive maritime harassment. There should be no doubt that China bears full responsibility for this unilateral attempt to change the status quo.

“These Chinese actions rest on territorial claims that have no basis in international law. In fact, China’s drilling is occurring squarely within Vietnam ’s Exclusive Economic Zone, as defined clearly in international law,” stressed John McCain.

It is incumbent upon on all responsible nations to insist that China’s leaders take immediate steps to deescalate tensions and revert to the status quo ante, he said.-VNA