United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged calm from China and Vietnam as tensions increase in the South China Sea, an official says.
Ban “noted with concern the escalating tensions in the South China Sea, in particular between China and Vietnam,” UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq has recently said in a statement.
“He urges the parties concerned to exercise the utmost restraint and resolve their dispute in a peaceful manner, through dialogue and in conformity with international law, including the UN Charter,” the spokesman said.
The development comes as Vietnam claimed on Wednesday that Chinese ships protecting a deep-water drilling rig in the disputed waters had used water cannon to attack its patrol vessels.
Vietnam said China’s decision was illegal, demanding the drilling rig be withdrawn.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry criticized on Friday the United States for fanning the flames in the disputed South China Sea.
On Friday, the US and the Philippines launched mock assault drills on a South China Sea beach amid rising tensions between Manila and Beijing.
Beijing has repeatedly demanded that Washington stay out of regional disputes, but US President Barack Obama insists that its presence is not designed to counter China in the region.
China claims almost the entire oil- and gas-rich South China Sea and rejects rival claims from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei to parts or all of it.