News / Asia

    Kerry: China's Oil Rig in South China Sea 'Provocative'

    FILE - US Secretary of State John Kerry.
    FILE - US Secretary of State John Kerry.
    VOA News
    Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States is "deeply concerned" that China has placed an oil rig in an area of the South China Sea also claimed by Vietnam.
     
    The comments come as Beijing's army chief begins a trip to the U.S., as part of efforts to increase U.S.-China military cooperation and reduce maritime tensions.
     
    Chinese and Vietnamese ships have rammed into each other and exchanged water cannon fire on several occasions since Beijing set up the state-run oil rig last month.
     
    State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Kerry told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a phone call the move was "provocative" and "aggressive."
     
    In response, China's Foreign Ministry said Wang urged Kerry to "speak and act cautiously," saying he should be objective when talking about China.
     
    Analysts say the dispute is likely to be discussed during the U.S. visit of Fang Fenghui, China's chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army.
     
    The state-run China Daily newspaper said the trip will also highlight both countries' willingness for closer military cooperation.
     
    Brad Glosserman, executive director of the Hawaii-based Pacific Forum, told VOA it is crucial that U.S.-China military ties improve.
     
    "Given what you have in the South China Sea, and the East China Sea, quite frankly, I think what you have is an opportunity for the two militaries to talk, to try to get some better understanding of each others' intentions, so that the possibility of a miscalculation or an accident at sea is diminished," said Glosserman.
     
    Glosserman said military relations are starting "at a very low base," but he expects visits such as this one will help provide for more substantive exchanges.
     
    Fang's visit comes at the invitation of his American counterpart, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey, who visited China in April 2013.
     
    U.S. officials have repeatedly expressed concern about China's increasing aggressiveness in defending its vast maritime claims in the South China Sea.
     
    China claims nearly the entire 2.5-million square kilometer South China Sea. Its claims overlap with that of Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.
     
    The U.S. says it does not take sides in the disputes, but says it is interested in upholding the rule of law and ensuring that unilateral steps are not taken.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: Yuanyuan from: China
    May 13, 2014 10:12 AM
    every time,US poses as Justice figure,involved each dispute.
    In Response

    by: Yuanyuan from: china
    May 13, 2014 10:39 PM
    Hi Steven,thanks for comment!It's awesome...
    In Response

    by: Steven Hong from: US
    May 13, 2014 3:15 PM
    Yes, even though it makes mistakes sometimes, "Justice" is one of many good principles the US believes in and stands for. Thank you for pointing it out!

    by: young thing from: nowhere
    May 13, 2014 9:53 AM
    I think, this is still not the right time for Mr John Kerry and US to stick with the stinky called "China's sea" by China gov. Unless China steps another wrong step, US will have the right to protect its allies and show its humanity with small countries.

    That's the reason why US said: " It does not take sides in the disputes, but says it is interested in upholding the rule of law and ensuring that unilateral steps are not taken."

    by: meanbill from: USA
    May 13, 2014 9:21 AM
    Kerry and the US loves to use those words "provocative" and "aggressive" -- (BUT?) -- the US seems to stop short of "drawing red lines" anymore in dealing with North Korea, Iran, Russia and China, (and in reality?), is this their only response to all these hostile acts by these countries? -- (Greatest military on earth?) .... REALLY?
    In Response

    by: We just fade away from: US
    May 13, 2014 10:15 AM
    For quite some time now, when bad guys around the world heard those words "provocative" and "aggressive" from the US they smiled broadly thinking they were being complimented.

    by: Adam9 from: Dong Nai
    May 13, 2014 8:38 AM
    I was a little surprise when I saw this. I thought Mr. Kerry was still in Ukraine working hard to figure out ways to punish some of the friends of Mr. Putin. If I was a friend of Mr. Xi I would be a little worried too, Mr. "all options are on the table" is working on this South China Sea thing now.
    In Response

    by: Adam9 from: Dong Nai, Vietnam
    May 13, 2014 2:18 PM
    @Mark from: Virginia
    I think he believes strongly that he has been serving his country and the president well and making important contributions to world peace (despise what US Senator McCain had said to him about his unsatisfying performance.) ... Poor Mr. Kerry!!
    In Response

    by: Mark from: Virginia
    May 13, 2014 1:39 PM
    Yeah, Kerry does seem to get around a lot, doesn't he...? He's a busy, busy man in a mad, mad, mad, mad world...
    Comments page of 2
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