China Never To Send Military To Oil Rig Spat With Vietnam

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Sunday, June 15, 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.

A senior U.S. official in Washington dismissed the Chinese statement as "patently ridiculous" and said Beijing had been using air force and navy as well as coastguard assets "to intimidate others."

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

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 Beijing 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 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 standoff round the rig has been taking place, Yi added.

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.

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

The Haiyang Shiyou 981 rig is drilling between the Paracel Islands and the Vietnamese coast. Vietnam has said the rig is in its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf, while China says it is operating within its waters.

The United States has not taken sides in the territorial disputes but has been strongly critical of China's behaviour in pressing its claims and called for negotiatiated solutions.

The U.S. official called Yi Xianliang's statement "a weak attempt to obscure what China is really doing."

"China has maintained a robust and consistent military presence near the oil rig since its placement on May 2, including flying helicopters and planes over and around the rig. There are currently multiple military vessels in the vicinity of the rig," he said.

The official said that on any given day, there were also Chinese navy warships in waters disputed with the Philippines.

Reiterating U.S. criticism of how China has handled maritime disputes with its neighbours, he said China's actions were "creating serious frictions" in relations with Washington.

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

Yi Xianliang denied China was blocking any proposals by Hanoi 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 rumours or distorting of facts is to achieve the aim of lodging a lawsuit, then I have to say that this is a miscalculation."

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

(Additional reporting by Matt Spetalnick and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter June 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

POSH Bags Shell FLNG Contract

Singapore’s offshore marine services provider PACC Offshore Services Holdings Ltd. (POSH) has been awarded a contract to support Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs after 3 Weeks of Additions

U.S. oil drillers cut rigs this week for a 20th week this year after three weeks of additions, according to a closely followed report on Friday, as crude prices

Subsea 7 Announces PLSV Swap off Brazil

Subsea 7 S.A. said it has reached an agreement with Petrobras to substitute a pipelay support vessel (PLSV) working off Brazil.   The agreement will see the Subsea-7-owned

Maritime Security

US Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Montgomery

The U.S. Navy has accepted delivery of future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) during a ceremony on June 23 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.   Marking the official

ST Marine Delivers 4th Patrol Vessel to Oman

Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd (ST Marine), the marine arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering), has held the Interim Acceptance ceremony

China Dismisses South China Sea Support Doubts

China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday brushed off doubts about how many countries have offered support for its position in a case brought by the Philippines over Chinese claims in the South China Sea,

News

HCI Capital Renamed Ernst Russ AG

A vote was passed at the ordinary shareholders’ meeting of HCI Capital AG yesterday to change the company’s name to Ernst Russ AG. The Executive Board and Supervisory

ABP orders Two Gottwald cranes

Terex Port Solutions (TPS) has received an order from Associated British Ports (ABP) for two electric Terex Gottwald Model 8 portal harbour cranes in the G HSK 8424 B four-rope grab variant.

Traffic Separation Schemes off Western Australia

On 1 December 2016 two new Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS) will come into effect off the south-west coast of Western Australia. Australia’s proposal to establish

Maritime Safety

Traffic Separation Schemes off Western Australia

On 1 December 2016 two new Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS) will come into effect off the south-west coast of Western Australia. Australia’s proposal to establish

Ailing Mariner Medevaced off Alaska

An ailing crewmember aboard the fishing vessel Seafreeze Alaska was medevaced approximately 195 miles north of Cold Bay, Alaska, Thursday.   A Coast Guard Air

More than 2,000 Migrants Rescued at Sea -Italy Coastguard

Ship crews pulled more than 2,000 migrants from overcrowded boats in the Mediterranean on Friday, Italy's coastguard said, as people smugglers stepped up operations

Vessels

US Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Montgomery

The U.S. Navy has accepted delivery of future USS Montgomery (LCS 8) during a ceremony on June 23 at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Ala.   Marking the official

Kiel is First German Port of Call for Mein Schiff 5

The brand-new TUI Cruises newbuilding Mein Schiff 5 has arrived in Kiel – her first German port of call since being handed over in Turku, Finland, a few days ago.

ST Marine Delivers 4th Patrol Vessel to Oman

Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd (ST Marine), the marine arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering), has held the Interim Acceptance ceremony

Offshore Energy

POSH Bags Shell FLNG Contract

Singapore’s offshore marine services provider PACC Offshore Services Holdings Ltd. (POSH) has been awarded a contract to support Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs after 3 Weeks of Additions

U.S. oil drillers cut rigs this week for a 20th week this year after three weeks of additions, according to a closely followed report on Friday, as crude prices

Ulstein Delivers for BS Offshore

The first of two service operation vessels (SOV) ordered in 2015 by Bernhard Schulte Offshore (BS Offshore) and its client Siemens from Ulstein Verft in is now completed,

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1406 sec (7 req/sec)