Dispute Flares Over Energy in South China Sea

5 Dec

South China sea

Vietnam accused a Chinese fishing boat of cutting a seismic cable attached to one of its vessels exploring for oil and gas near the Gulf of Tonkin, an act apparently intended to inhibit Vietnam from pursuing energy deposits. Vietnam said Tuesday that in retaliation, it would send out new patrols, which would include the marine police, to guard against increasing encroachment by Chinese fishing boats in the South China Sea. India, which operates several joint ventures with Vietnam’s national energy company, Petro Vietnam, said it would consider sending navy vessels to protect its interests in the South China Sea.

“China opposes any unilateral oil and gas exploration activities in disputed areas in the South China Sea and hopes relevant countries respect China’s sovereignty and national interests, as well as the efforts of countries within the region to resolve disputes through bilateral negotiations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said today.Lei was reacting to Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi’s remarks that Indian Navy was prepared to deploy vessels to the South China Sea to defend India’s economic interests there.

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