|The DK1 platform, a group of economic, scientific and technological service stations of Việt Nam in the East Sea, is located on the southern continental shelf of the country. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Chung|
WASHINGTON — The US Department of Defense on Monday expressed its deep concern over China’s “coercive interference” in Việt Nam’s longstanding oil and gas activities in the East Sea, as well as its continued efforts to violate the rules-based international order throughout the Indo-Pacific.
In a statement, the department said that China had recently continued its interference in Việt Nam’s oil and gas activities in the sea and this directly contradicts Chinese Minister of Defense Wei Fenghe’s pledge at the Shangri-La Dialogue that China would “stick to the path of peaceful development”.
“China's actions stand in contrast to the US' vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, in which all nations, large and small, are secure in their sovereignty, free from coercion, and able to pursue economic growth consistent with accepted international rules and norms,” it said.
According to the statement, China will not win the trust of its neighbours nor the respect of the international community by maintaining its “bullying” tactics.
China’s actions to coerce ASEAN claimants, station offensive military systems and enforce an unlawful maritime claim raise serious doubts over China’s credibility, the statement added. — VNS