Vietnam says China Moving Rig; China Denies Sending Warships

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vietnam said on Wednesday a Chinese oil rig at the center of an increasingly bitter territorial dispute appeared to be on the move again, as China denied Vietnamese accusations that it had sent warships to the scene.

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

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.

In a statement, Vietnam's Directorate of Fisheries said the rig had shown signs of moving towards the east and southeast.

China had 119 vessels in the rig's operating area, it added, including six naval ships and four circling military aircraft.

However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying dismissed as "completely incorrect" the accusations that China had sent six warships, adding that the rig operations were commercial in nature.

"Because Vietnam keeps forcefully and illegally carrying out interference, we have sent official Chinese government ships to guarantee security on the scene, but we have not sent military ships," she told a daily news briefing.

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.

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.

Hua said Vietnam had sent a large number of armed ships to interfere in the rig's operations, though she would not confirm whether the rig had moved.

She added that rig operations, which started on May 2, are expected to go on until the middle of August.

"We hope that it can be completed smoothly and safely," she said, accusing Vietnam of having stirred up last month's violence against foreign companies.

"Vietnam's government incited certain domestic lawbreaking elements to smash up and burn foreign companies, including Chinese ones...There has still been no compensation for this," Hua said.

Reporting by Ho Binh Minh and Ben Blanchard

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


Search for El Faro Crew Continues, Hopes Fading

Responders continue the hunt for possible survivors from the missing cargo ship El Faro, which is believed to have sunk during Hurricane Joaquin.   As of Tuesday night,

HMAS Melbourne Intercepts 427kg Heroin

HMAS Melbourne’s crew has seized 427 kilograms of heroin hidden in a fishing dhow carrying the illegal drugs across the Indian Ocean. The intercept occurred

Russia Builds 'Arc Of Steel'

Russia is building an “arc of steel” from the Arctic to the Mediterranean Sea said a NATO commander, in the same vein as Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain metaphor.


Venezuelan Crude Exports to US Fell 10% in Sept

Venezuelan crude exports to the United States declined 10 percent in September versus the previous month due to lower sales of heavy and medium grades to some of regular customers,

White House Issues Veto Threat for US House Oil Export Bill

The White House issued a veto threat on Wednesday for a U.S. House of Representatives bill that would lift a ban on crude oil exports, saying the legislation was "not needed at this time.

India Extends Tax Benefits on Bunker Fuel

India has extended the benefit of nil custom and production tax on bunker fuels to domestic coastal movement of containers, in a move to decongest its roads and reduce carbon emissions,

Maritime Security

Willard Unveils New RHIB in Australia

Willard Marine, Inc. unveiled its new SEA FORCE 777 this week at the Pacific International Maritime Exposition in Sydney, Australia.   The military-grade, fiberglass,

MARAD’s Jaenichen Issues Statement on El Faro

U.S. Maritime Administrator Paul Jaenichen has issued a statement following the U.S. Coast Guard’s announcement that it will suspend the search for survivors from the missing cargo ship El Faro.

ECDIS Ordered for 20 Indonesia Surveillance Vessels

Transas ECDIS has been selected for installation on board 20 surveillance vessels under operation of the Directorate General of Marine Resources and Fisheries Surveillance,

Maritime Safety

USCG Completes Investigation into Ship Channel Death

The U.S. Coast Guard has completed its investigation into an incident in which a Mexican national was killed after being struck and by a patrol boat in the Brownsville Ship Channel in April.

ECDIS Ordered for 20 Indonesia Surveillance Vessels

Transas ECDIS has been selected for installation on board 20 surveillance vessels under operation of the Directorate General of Marine Resources and Fisheries Surveillance,

US Suspends Search for El Faro Survivors

The U.S. Coast Guard will call off its search for potential survivors from the missing cargo ship El Faro, several media sources reported Wednesday.   The search will end Wednesday night,

Offshore Energy

SBM Offshore Says Petrobras Discussions Ongoing

Floating production services provider SBM Offshore responded to media reports of a potential settlement with Petrobras regarding tenders in Brazil, stating the

Shell Starts Bonga Phase 3 in Nigeria

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd (SNEPCo) announced the start-up of production from the Bonga Phase 3 project.   Bonga Phase 3 is an expansion of the Bonga Main development,

Workers Evacuated After Gas Leak at Mexico Platform

Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex said on Tuesday that it was working to control a gas leak at the Sihil A platform in the Gulf of Mexico.   Eighty-five workers have been evacuated,

Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics 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: 0.1298 sec (8 req/sec)