07 May 2014
Vietnam said it is prepared to take measures over China’s placement of an exploration rig in disputed waters, as the U.S. called the Chinese move “provocative and unhelpful” given recent regional tensions.
Vietnam can’t accept this month’s placement of the HD-981 rig and deployment of vessels in an area it considers part of the country’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh told Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi yesterday by phone, according to a posting on the website of Vietnam’s foreign ministry. Vietnam demanded that China withdraw the rig and vessels and hold talks to resolve the issue, Minh said.
“Vietnam will take all suitable and necessary measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests,” Minh said, according to the posting.
The rig’s location is near the Paracel Islands, which are now under Chinese control, said Li Mingjiang, an associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. Vietnam also claims the Paracels, and both countries, as well as Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan, have claims to other territory in the South China Sea.
“The two countries are likely to engage in a war of words for some time,” Li said by e-mail. “Vietnam will openly criticize China in the international arena and mobilize other Asean countries, especially those claimant countries, to put pressure on China,” he said, in a reference to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on