Hanoi: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam has accused China’s energy giant CNOOC of operating an offshore drilling rig in its territorial waters illegally and has demanded China withdraw the rig.
China dismissed the objections and said the activity was being carried out in its territorial waters.
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 August 15, in an area close to the Paracel Islands, which are controlled by China but Vietnam claims as its own.
“The location lies well within the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam, some 120 nautical miles from the Vietnamese coast. All foreign activities in Vietnam's seas without Vietnam's permission are illegal and invalid,” Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The dispute might lead to a further escalation of tensions between China and Vietnam. [06/05/14]