outbrain
Close  

China refuses Vietnam’s call to stop oil drilling

/ 07:47 PM May 05, 2014
Vietnam-China-Disputed-Sea

In this Aug. 29, 2013 file photo, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, right, meets with Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing as 12 ASEAN foreign ministers are in the Chinese capital to attend the ASEAN-China foreign ministers meeting which aims to discuss economic ties as well as regional concerns such as disputed territory in the South China sea. Vietnam demanded China stop oil drilling operations in a disputed patch of the South China Sea, saying on Monday, May 5, 2014 that Beijing’s decision to deploy a deep sea rig over the weekend was illegal. China dismissed the objections, saying the activity was being carried out in its territorial waters. AP

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam demanded China stop oil drilling operations in a disputed patch of the South China Sea, saying on Monday that Beijing’s decision to deploy a deep sea rig over the weekend was illegal.

China dismissed the objections, saying the activity was being carried out in its territorial waters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Beijing’s increasingly assertive territorial claims to the waters, which are thought to have large oil and gas deposits beneath them, have angered Vietnam, the Philippines and other claimants. The region is widely seen as a potential area of conflict.

Last week, President Barack Obama signed a new defense pact with the Philippines aimed at reassuring Asian allies of American backing as they wrangle with Beijing’s growing economic and military might.

FEATURED STORIES

The China Maritime Safety Administration posted a navigational warning on its website advising that the CNOOC 981 rig would be drilling in the South China Sea from May 4 to Aug. 15, in an area close to the Paracel Islands, which are controlled by China but Vietnam claims as its own.

China’s maritime administration also said that ships entering a 3-mile (4.8-kilometers) radius around the area are prohibited.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry said the area where the rig was stationed lay within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf as defined by the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“All foreign activities in Vietnam’s seas without Vietnam’s permission are illegal and invalid,” the ministry said in a statement. “Vietnam resolutely protests them.”

Vietnam’s state-owned oil company, PetroVietnam, demanded that China National Offshore Oil Corporation “immediately stop all the illegal activities and withdraw the rig from Vietnamese waters.”

Asked about Vietnam’s objections, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the drilling was taking place in Chinese waters.

Many analysts believe China is embarking on a strategy of gradually pressing its claims in the water by seeing what it can get away with, believing that its much smaller neighbors will be unable or unwilling to stop them. Vietnam has accused Chinese ships of cutting cables to its exploration vessels and harassing fishermen, as has the Philippines.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chinese assertiveness puts Vietnam’s authoritarian government in difficult position domestically because anger at China, an ideological ally, runs deep in the country. This is exploited by dissident movements, who accuse the government of being unwilling to speak out against Beijing.

Tran Cong Truc, the former head of a government committee overseeing the country’s border issues, said the latest Chinese move was especially provocative.

“This act by China is much more dangerous than previous actions such as cutting the exploration cable or fishing bans,” he said.

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: China, disputed sea, Global Nation, Vietnam
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.