…and the Obama administration bleats. The escalation comes in the context of a PRC attempt to install a large oil rig near the Paracel Islands in waters claimed by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Republic of China (note: not the PRC; their claim is nothing other than an illegitimate sea grab).
…about 80 Chinese vessels had moved into an area…. [Vietnamese officials] said Chinese vessels repeatedly rammed into and fired water cannons at Vietnamese vessels, injuring at least six Vietnamese sailors.
Instead of doing anything concrete, Daniel Russel, Assistant Secretary (of State), Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, while claiming to understand the importance of Vietnam to US security interests in the region, offered this, instead:
Competing sovereignty claims in disputed areas, including the Paracels, must be dealt with peacefully, must be dealt with diplomatically, and must be dealt with in accordance to international laws.
He added that the US has no position on the relative merits of any claims in the region.
Of course not.
Ya ta ta, ya ta ta, ya ta ta. Moral relativism. Ya ta ta, ya ta ta, ya ta ta.