outbrain
Close  

China sends patrol ships to disputed waters—Xinhua

/ 05:19 PM July 01, 2012

About 200 protesters march through the capital’s streets on Sunday, July 1, 2012, in Hanoi Vietnam, following China's recent announcement that it will open nine oil and gas lots to international bidders, even though the area overlaps with Vietnam’s current foreign exploration contracts. Amid this deepening row with Vietnam over competing territorial claims, China has deployed four patrol ships to the disputed area of the South China Sea, China’s state media said Sunday, July 01, 2012. AP PHOTO/MARGIE MASON

BEIJING—China has deployed four patrol ships to a disputed area of the South China Sea, state media said Sunday, amid a deepening row with Vietnam over competing territorial claims.

The ships, described by the Xinhua news agency as surveillance vessels, reached what China calls the Huayang reef in the Spratly islands on Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT

China last month summoned Vietnam’s ambassador in Beijing and protested a law adopted by the Vietnamese parliament that places the disputed Spratly islands under Hanoi’s sovereignty.

China and Vietnam, as well as other neighboring nations, are locked in longstanding territorial disputes over the South China Sea, including the resources-rich Spratly and Paracel islands.

FEATURED STORIES

Xinhua said that the ships left China’s southern island province of Hainan on June 26 and would travel more than 2,400 nautical miles on patrols.

The ships are under the authority of the Chinese government’s State Oceanic Administration and not the country’s navy.

China said Thursday it would resolutely oppose any military provocation in its territorial waters and protect its sovereignty – remarks that appeared to be directed partly at Vietnam.

China’s military has established routine naval patrols in the South China Sea as a matter of “national sovereignty,” defense ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said.

“The determination and will of China’s military to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering,” he said.

China said last month it had elevated the administrative status of what it calls the Nansha (Spratly) and Xisha (Paracel) islands from a county to a prefectural-level district.

China’s state-backed China National Offshore Oil Corp. has also called for tenders from foreign companies to explore for oil in the South China Sea near Vietnam, a move Hanoi deemed “illegal.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Tensions in the South China Sea have risen sharply recently, with China and the Philippines also locked in a maritime dispute over Scarborough Shoal, a reef off the Philippine coast.

Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, China, Malaysia, and the Philippines all claim parts of the South China Sea.

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: China, law, maritime dispute, Spratlys, Vietnam
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.