China: Stop oil rig harassment by Vietnamese [People’s Daily]

By Zhang Yunbi and Pu Zhendon (China Daily)

May 9, 2014

Beijing demanded on Thursday that Hanoi cease its harassing actions against a Chinese oil rig in waters off an island in the South China Sea and called for dialogue to end the conflict.

Since May 2, Vietnam has carried out intensive disruptions of a Chinese company’s normal oil drilling in waters administered by China. China is deeply surprised and shocked, said Yi Xianliang, deputy director-general of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, on Thursday.

Yi said the Xisha Islands are inherent territory of China and there are no disputes in this area. The oil rig operation is undertaken by China Oilfield Services Ltd, and it is a normal drilling activity in the coastal waters off the Xisha Islands of China.

The oil rig operation, which is only 31 km from Zhongjian Island, is completely within waters off China’s Xisha Islands, and the operation completely falls within the area of China’s sovereignty and jurisdiction.

From Saturday to Wednesday, Vietnam dispatched 36 vessels of various kinds that rammed Chinese vessels as many as 171 times.

The Chinese vessels are only government and civilian vessels. But the Vietnamese have many armed vessels deployed to the scene…

Excerpted; full article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90785/8621951.html

Article’s original title: “China: Stop oil rig harassment”

See also related Xinhua article: “Commentary: Vietnamese harassment disrupts, complicates South China Sea situation” – http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-05/11/c_133325622.htm

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