Kerry reiterates US’ stance on peaceful settlement of East Sea disputes

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Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh speaks in a phone call with US Secretary of State John Kerry on May 21. Photo courtesy of Vietnam News Agency Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh speaks in a phone call with US Secretary of State John Kerry on May 21. Photo courtesy of Vietnam News Agency

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US Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated the US's stance on the peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea, during a phone call with Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on Wednesday, Vietnam News Agency reported.
Kerry spoke highly of Vietnam’s restraint and goodwill, reflected by its persistent use of peaceful solutions and dialogue, preventing the escalation of tensions that affect regional peace and stability.
He expressed deep concern about recent developments in the East Sea -- internationally known as the South China Sea, saying that China’s unilateral deployment of an oil rig in the sea represents a provocative act that raises tensions in the region.
He reaffirmed the US’s stance the importance of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Minister Minh informed Kerry of the latest developments on the East Sea, saying China has continued to deploy more vessels to guard the Haiyang Shiyou 981 rig deep which the nation positioned over Vietnam’s continental shelf and deep within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
He said Vietnam has exercised the utmost restraint and maintained dialogue to avoid clashes, while firmly requesting China withdraw its rig and ships from the area.
During the conversation, Minh said Vietnam is willing to coordinate with the US in implementing concrete measures to further boost the comprehensive partnership between the two countries.

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