A bipartisan trio of senators is urging the Trump administration to take tougher action to counter Chinese militarization in the South China Sea, voicing “grave concerns” over Beijing’s regional encroachment.

Sens. Marco Rubio, Cory Gardner, and Ed Markey stated in a letter sent last week to the secretaries of state and defense that the administration’s response to China’s illegal maritime claims has been inadequate and is increasing the risk of conflict.

“We believe there is strong bipartisan congressional support for taking significant actions in response to the Chinese government’s continuing militarization of the South China Sea,” the senators said in the May 24 letter.

The letter was sent to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo three days before the Navy sent two warships to the South China Sea on Sunday in a show of force.

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