China: No Military Force to Settle Oil Rig Spat

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Friday, June 13, 2014

A Chinese official said on Friday that China will never send military forces to the scene of an increasingly ugly spat with Vietnam over an oil rig in the South China Sea, and accused Hanoi of trying to force an international lawsuit.

China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, but parts of the potentially energy-rich waters are also subject to claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

China is also involved in a territorial dispute in the East China Sea with Japan.

Scores of Vietnamese and Chinese ships, including coastguard vessels, have squared off around the rig despite a series of collisions after the platform was towed to the area in early May.

The rig's deployment triggered anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam last month that killed at least four workers.

Vietnam has accused China of sending six warships, but Yi Xianliang, deputy director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, said that China had never sent military forces.

"I can tell you very clearly that from May 2 to today, including to when the (drilling) operations are complete, we have never, are not and will never send military forces. Because we are carrying out normal, civilian, commercial activities," he told a hastily arranged news conference.

"What I can tell you is that this is on a maritime route and at some periods there have been certain Chinese military ships coming back from the south but these have been far away" from where the stand-off round the rig has been taking place, Yi added.

China stations military forces on some of the numerous islands it occupies in the Spratly and Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

Last week, Vietnam broadcast footage of a Chinese ship colliding with a small fishing boat which capsizes in its path.

Yi showed pictures of much smaller Vietnamese ships appearing to nudge Chinese ships, and of Chinese maritime police fishing out pieces of wood and old fishing nets he said Vietnam had placed in the waters on purpose to act as obstacles.

He said that China had had more than 30 rounds of talks with Vietnam since the crisis began, and denied that China was blocking any proposals by Vietnam for high-level dialogue or for a special envoy to travel to Beijing.

"I know that certain people in Vietnam, perhaps because they are trying to find another way to resolve the problem, are creating certain conditions. The so-called other route is the so-called lawsuit way," he said.

"...If this spreading of rumors or distorting of facts is to achieve the aim of lodging a lawsuit, then I have to say that this is a miscalculation."

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told Reuters his government was considering various "defense options" against China, including legal action, a move the United States said it would support.

The Haiyang Shiyou 981 rig is drilling between the Paracel islands, which China occupies, and the Vietnamese coast. Vietnam has said the rig is in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf.

China says it is operating within its waters.

 

By Ben Blanchard

Maritime Reporter January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Marquette Transportation Reportedly for Sale

Marquette Transportation Company LLC, a U.S. towboat operator, is exploring a sale that could value it at more than $1 billion and has attracted the interest of

BP Quits Indonesian Blocks on Risk Concerns

UK-listed energy giant BP has decided to relinquish two exploration blocks to Indonesia, after a survey of the blocks found them to be high risk, the company said on Friday.

Yemen Lifts Force Majeure on LNG Deliveries

Yemen on Friday lifted force majeure on liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries from its Balhaf plant, trading sources with knowledge of the matter said. Reuters reported last week that the 6.

Offshore

BOEM Issues Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), announces the availability of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

Europe's Offshore Wind Capacity Growing

New capacity edges down 5 pct from record 2013; industry body forecasts stable growth over 2015/6. Europe's offshore wind capacity kept up a steady rate of growth

Damen Delivers Custom-Made Offshore Winches to Fugro

Damen Maaskant Shipyards, part of Damen Shipyards Group, has delivered two dedicated offshore winches to Fugro. The Dutch shipyard was responsible for the design,

Energy

Chevron Scraps 2015 Share Repurchase Program

Chevron Corp halted its 2015 share repurchase program on Friday, a move to conserve cash amid tumbling oil prices.   The company's shares extended loses on the news,

BOEM Issues Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), announces the availability of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

NAO Secures PSV Contracts with Oil Major

Nordic American Offshore Ltd. (NAO) informs that it has secured platform supply vessel (PSV) contracts with a major oil company.   NAO’s two new contracts with are for four months firm periods,

Coast Guard

USCG Updates Rules for Arrival/Departure Notices, AIS

Final rule on vessel requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure and Automatic Identification System published in Federal Register   U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

Australia Bolsters SAR in Indian Ocean Region

AMSA leading program to strengthen search and rescue capabilities in Indian Ocean region   The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said it has commenced

Dozens Missing off Bangladesh after Boat Sinks

About 40 illegal migrants heading from Bangladesh to Malaysia to look for work were missing on Thursday after their boat sank, police said. A steady stream of

Eye on the Navy

ThyssenKrupp: Submarine Unit Not For Sale

German industrial group ThyssenKrupp is not in talks to sell its submarine unit nor is it in talks to sell its stainless steel unit VDM, its chief executive said on Friday.

SECNAV Completes Visit to Paraguay

Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus completed a visit to Paraguay Jan. 29 during which he met with Republic of Paraguay President Horacio Cartes to discuss

US Wants Japan to Patrol South China Sea

Admiral Robert Thomas, senior U.S. Navy officer and commander of the Seventh Fleet and the top U.S. navy officer in Asia, has told Reuters that the United States

Government Update

USCG Updates Rules for Arrival/Departure Notices, AIS

Final rule on vessel requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure and Automatic Identification System published in Federal Register   U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

Europe's Offshore Wind Capacity Growing

New capacity edges down 5 pct from record 2013; industry body forecasts stable growth over 2015/6. Europe's offshore wind capacity kept up a steady rate of growth

BP Quits Indonesian Blocks on Risk Concerns

UK-listed energy giant BP has decided to relinquish two exploration blocks to Indonesia, after a survey of the blocks found them to be high risk, the company said on Friday.

Offshore Energy

BOEM Issues Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), announces the availability of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

Europe's Offshore Wind Capacity Growing

New capacity edges down 5 pct from record 2013; industry body forecasts stable growth over 2015/6. Europe's offshore wind capacity kept up a steady rate of growth

Shell: UK Should Reduce North Sea Oil Tax

The British government should review a supplementary tax charge on North Sea oil producers as it has made the operation of some fields unrealistic, Shell Chief

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4521 sec (2 req/sec)