China insists it has right to put rig off Vietnam

Jun 10, 2014News

(BGF) – The Associated Press reported that Yi Xianliang, deputy director-general of Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, insisted in a press conference on May 8 that China  has “every right to drill for oil off Vietnam’s coast” and China’s operations in the waters were “completely legal, legitimate and justified” because the waters were “China’s inherent territory.”

China has been increasingly pressing its claims in the South China Sea, which it claims almost in its entirety. This is bringing it into conflicts with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, which also claim parts of the water.

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China insists it has right to put rig off Vietnam

May 8, 2014 | By Chris Brummitt in Hanoi and Christopher Bodeen in Beijing

460x(Photo Credit: AP)

BEIJING (AP) — China insisted Thursday it had every right to drill for oil off Vietnam’s coast and warned its neighbor to leave the area around the deep-sea rig where Chinese and Vietnamese ships are engaged in a tense standoff.

With the ships jostling each other since China deployed the rig last weekend in disputed South China Sea waters, the United States warned both sides to de-escalate tensions and urged China to clarify its claims to the territory.

The stalemate underlines the apparently intractable nature of many of China’s territorial disputes with its neighbors and the ship standoff — with both sides accusing the other of ramming ships — has raised the possibility of a conflict in the South China Sea’s most serious incident in years.

Vietnam’s main stock market index recorded its biggest one-day drop since 2001 on fears of a protracted stalemate or possible conflict between the neighboring nations, which have fought two naval skirmishes in the waters since 1974 and have history of conflict going back 1,000 years.

The standoff started May 1 when China moved a deep sea oil rig into waters close to the Paracel Islands in what most analysts believe was an especially assertive move to help cement its claims of sovereignty over the area. Vietnam, which says the islands belong to it, immediately dispatched ships.

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