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Vietnam's Back Harder Against China Moves to Hinder Offshore Energy Exploration - Report

Gasoil News - Published on Tue, 17 Sep 2019

Image Source: Bloomberg
Bloomberg reported that Vietnam is pushing back harder against China’s efforts to isolate it diplomatically on a territorial dispute in an energy-rich part of the South China Sea. The foreign ministry in Hanoi called on China to immediately order a state-owned survey vessel along with several Coast Guard escorts to leave Vietnamese-claimed waters in its exclusive economic zone, which stretches 200 nautical miles from its coast. It said a multi-billion dollar oil and gas project being carried out by Vietnam Oil & Gas Group and Exxon Mobil Corp in block 118 of the waters would continue unimpeded.

Ms Le Thi Thu Hang, a spokeswoman for Vietnam’s foreign ministry, said that “Any activities that hamper Vietnam’s oil and gas exploration in Vietnamese water are violations of international laws.”

The Chinese-owned Haiyang Dizhi 8 has intermittently zigzagged across a Vietnam-demarcated block of water to study the seabed in an active drilling block operated by Russia’s state-owned Rosneft Oil PJSC since early July. China claims most of the South China Sea with a map of a nine-dash line stretching far from the mainland, and has sought to negotiate one-on-one deals with countries in the region on sharing energy and fish resources.

The latest Vietnamese statements came after China scored diplomatic wins with other South China Sea claimants. On Monday, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed with his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah on the establishment of a bilateral consultation mechanism to “properly handle” disputes in the South China Sea.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 17 Sep 2019
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