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US Senate condemns China's maritime activities

The US Senate has condemned China for attempting to alter by force the status quo of the East and South China Seas and urged the country to refrain from taking provocative actions.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee said the Senate unanimously adopted the resolution on Thursday.
It had been introduced by major Democratic and Republican senators, including Robert Menendez, the committee chairman.

The resolution condemns coercive actions to alter the status quo. It refers to the Air Defense Identification Zone which China declared last November for the East China Sea and China's standoff with the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea.

It calls on China to refrain from taking provocative actions and withdraw its oil drilling rig near the Paracel Islands, which prompted a standoff with Vietnam.

The resolution also commends Japan for its restraint and reiterates its request for the Obama administration to fulfill its duty to the US ally by applying the Security Treaty with Japan to the Senkaku Islands.

It calls on all parties in disputes to peacefully resolve the territorial issues according to international law.

The US Senate last year condemned China for sending ships to waters near the Senkaku Islands, which increased regional tensions and urged China to exercise restraint.

Jul. 11, 2014 - Updated 22:30 UTC