John Kline, Chairman of the US House Committee on Education and Labour, made the statement at a meeting with National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung in Hanoi on June 3.

China on May 1 illegally installed its floating rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. Its flotilla deployed to escort and protect the rig rammed Vietnamese vessels, injuring sailors and damaging their property.

Defying Vietnam’s request to withdraw the rig, China even moved the platform to a new location still inside Vietnam’s territorial waters and dispatched more vessels to intimidate Vietnamese boats.

John said that the US Congress follows with keen interest the latest developments in the East Sea and expresses great concern about China’s provocation.

John was leading a House delegation to visit Vietnam, aiming to seek and expand cooperation among the two legislative bodies and peoples.

He revealed that the US wants to accelerate Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations with Vietnam and strengthen bilateral cooperation in all fields.

For his part, NA Chairman Hung expressed his delight at fine development of Vietnam-US relations, including between their legislative bodies.

Vietnam attaches much importance to fostering ties with the US, he said, adding it is determined to implement all agreements in line with the two countries’ comprehensive partnership for mutual benefit and for peace and prosperity in the region and the world.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Hung said China’s illegal oil rig placement seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty, international law and the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

China’s move causes instability in the East Sea and threatens maritime and aviation trade, as well as peace and security in the region and wider world, he stressed.

The NA chairman reiterated Vietnam’s consistent policy of settling the dispute by peaceful measures in accordance with international law, and carrying on the struggle to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for national development.

He thanked the US Congress and many other peace-loving people in the world for supporting Vietnam in the struggle, in order to promote peace, security and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, including the East Sea.

Radio Voice Of Vietnam / VietNamNet Bridge - June 4, 2014