The United States said on Wednesday it was concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation in the South China Sea after reports of a Chinese vessel ramming Vietnamese ships. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki reiterated the U.S. view that China’s deployment of an oil rig in a disputed part of the South China was “provocative and unhelpful” to security in the region. “We call on all parties to conduct themselves in a safe and appropriate manner, exercise restraint, and address competing sovereignty claims peacefully, diplomatically, and in accordance with international law.” Psaki said the United States had seen reports that Philippine police had seized Chinese and Philippine fishing boats carrying illegally harvested sea turtles in the South China Sea and detained their crews. “Given the United States works with the international community to combat wildlife trafficking, we are concerned that the vessels appear to be engaged in direct harvest of endangered species of sea turtles.” China has demanded that the Philippines release its boat and fishermen.
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