High-profile foreign media outlets have sided with Vietnam after hearing China’s controversial explanations about its recent placement of an oil rig in the East Sea.

At an international press briefing in Beijing on May 8, Deputy Director-General of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs Yi Xianliang tried to justify its illegal act by arguing that the location of the rig is within China’s waters.

He further claimed that China’s deployment of dozens of vessels and planes, including military, police and fishing vessels, to the site is for self-defence to keep the rig running.

However, Yi failed to give any convincing excuse for why Chinese ships fired water cannons at Vietnamese coast guard vessels, damaging them and injuring crew members, but merely remarked that the use of water cannons is the least serious solution for clashes at sea.

On May 7, media around the world, such as AP, AFP, Reuters, DPA, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Deutsch Welles and Strait Times, covered a Hanoi international press and later said that China’s aggression raises the alarm to other regional nations. They also described China’s move as one of the most provocative acts in the area for a long time, and one that is likely to trigger more serious clashes.-VNA