“The United States has long called for China and all claimants to pursue their territorial claims and accompanying rights to maritime space peacefully, without resorting to coercion, and in accordance with international law,” tells We the People website, White House’s official petition website.
The statement comes after seven months since the start of online signature campaign calling the Obama administration to “put sanctions to China for invading Vietnam territory with the deployment of oil rig Haiyang 981.” As of writing, the petition gathered 139,554 total signatures.
The White House’s response adds, “We support efforts that lower tensions and expand space for peaceful and diplomatic resolution of disputes.”
“The United States has a national interest in the South China Sea, to include freedom of navigation, peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for international law, and unimpeded lawful commerce. We do not take a position on the ultimate sovereignty over land features in the South China Sea, but we do take a position in regards to how these disputes are pursued and addressed, and whether a coastal state’s maritime claims are in accordance with international law.”