WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today made the following statement about China’s dispute with Vietnam in the South China Sea:

“Chinese drilling and intimidation of Vietnamese vessels near the Paracel islands are needless provocations that threaten peace and stability across the region. China’s behavior is clearly adversarial. If there are differences about what activities are permissible in disputed waters, the Chinese and Vietnamese governments need to engage each other face-to-face. This won’t be resolved by spokespeople talking past each other or reckless behavior on the high seas. As a Pacific power, the United States has an interest in ensuring the South China Sea remains secure, stable, and peaceful for all the players in the region.”