EMPTY VESSELS'S SOUND
The White House on Friday stepped up criticism of China's deployment of an oil rig in the South China Sea, saying the move had complicated relations in the region and made peaceful resolution of territorial disputes more difficult.
"This is a provocative act, and it raises tensions in the region," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
China and Vietnam are locked in a dispute over contested waters that both claim as part of their territory. The standoff, which escalated after a state-run Chinese oil company positioned an oil rig in the area, has sparked riots in Vietnam and raised fears of a military conflict.
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