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 Reporter July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

ABS to Class First Self-elevating Unit Built in Qatar

ABS, a provider of classification services to the global offshore industry, was selected by Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) to class its LB310S liftboat,

Industry Partnership to Enhance BOP Maintenance

The maintenance of blowout preventers (BOPs) has significant financial, logistical and safety implications for drilling operators and rig owners. DNV GL has now

Transnet National Ports Authority Orders 9 Voith Water Tractors

In South Africa’s largest local shipbuilding contract Transnet National Ports Authority has ordered nine new Voith Water Tractors (VWT) for use in several ports across the country.

Energy

Livanos Becomes Euronav Chairman

On 22 July 2014, the Board of Directors of Euronav NV unanimously appointed Peter G. Livanos as Chairman of the Board, with immediate effect in replacement of Marc

Scottish Independence Would Hurt Maritime Sector

A vote for independence from the U.K. would have a negative effect on the Scottish shipping and offshore maritime sector, according to a survey by leading international

Report: Ports Lack Maintenance Support

The latest Barometer Report from Trelleborg has revealed a huge gap in the maintenance requirements of port owners and operators, and the support that suppliers are able to provide.

Maritime Security

Pine Galaxy to Arrive SF Bay Wednesday

The disabled mixed-products tanker Pine Galaxy is expected to arrive in San Francisco Wednesday morning. The ship is being towed by commercial tug to San Francisco Bay.

RN Warship Intercepts Caribean Drug Smugglers

Royal Navy warship HMS Argyll has seized £21 million worth of cocaine after a 12-hour pursuit across the Caribbean, informs the Ministry of Defence. Sailors then

USCG Small Boat Fires Warning Shot at Iranian Vessel

A U.S. Coast Guard boat operating in international waters in the Arabian Gulf fired on an Iranian dhow in what U.S. military officials described as a defensive

News

Reflex Marine to Bring FROG-6 into Mexico

Reflex Marine has been granted approval by the Mexican Merchant Marines to sell its crane transfer device, the FROG-6, in Mexico. The certification is a result

Euronav Books Profit from Sale of Chartered Ship

The owner of the 157,258 dwt containership Cap Isabella (built 2013), a vessel which Euronav had on bareboat charter, decided to sell the vessel to an unrelated third party.

Seaborne Ethane and Demand for a New Ship Type

Lloyd's Register report looks at the commercial landscape, regulatory issues and technical realities of a new trade in ethane emerging as a result of increased U.

Maritime Safety

Reflex Marine to Bring FROG-6 into Mexico

Reflex Marine has been granted approval by the Mexican Merchant Marines to sell its crane transfer device, the FROG-6, in Mexico. The certification is a result

EU to Help Italy Cope with Boat Migrants

The European Commission said on Wednesday it would launch an EU version of Italy's sea rescue operation to help it deal with the droves of migrants crossing the

Storm Surge Halts Vessel Operations at Long Beach

Two cargo terminals at the Port of Long Beach announced Wednesday, Aug. 27, that they were suspending vessel operations for the day because 10- to 15-foot high

Vessels

Euronav Books Profit from Sale of Chartered Ship

The owner of the 157,258 dwt containership Cap Isabella (built 2013), a vessel which Euronav had on bareboat charter, decided to sell the vessel to an unrelated third party.

MacGregor Wins Stena RoRo Conversion Job

MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has received a contract from Stena North Sea Ltd. to convert the 29,800gt RoPax ferry Dieppe Seaways to optimize it for its new route

First N.American Boat Powered by Volvo Penta IPS

Thomas Paine, the new 50-ft. aluminum patrol boat that joined the Massachusetts Environmental Police fleet in July, is the first commercial vessel in North America

Offshore Energy

SBI Offshore Negotiating Contract for Rig Builds

SBI Offshore Limited has announced that the Middle East-Chinese consortium, which recently awarded its subsidiary a contract to provide design and engineering services for a jack-up drilling rig,

Brazilian PSVs Get Rolls-Royce Offshore Cranes

Rolls-Royce signed a contract with Detroit Chile SA to supply offshore cranes to nine Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) presently under construction at Detroit Brasil Ltda.

Industry Partnership to Enhance BOP Maintenance

The maintenance of blowout preventers (BOPs) has significant financial, logistical and safety implications for drilling operators and rig owners. DNV GL has now

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators 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: 0.1877 sec (5 req/sec)