HANOI — In a new stand-off between Vietnam and China, Hanoi called on China to withdraw its research vessel and escorted ships from Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf on Thursday.
The escalation came after a new confrontation between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels in a disputed part of the South China Sea, after China in mid-May deployed Xiang Yang Hong 10, escorted by a number of coastguard ships and fishing vessels near Vietnam’s operating oil blocks. Vietnam is drilling for oil in several sites in the area.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnamese authorities have communicated many times with the Chinese side, taking measures in accordance with international and Vietnamese law to ensure the lawful and legitimate rights and interests of Vietnam,” deputy spokesperson for the Vietnam Foreign Ministry Pham Thu Hang told reporters at a regular news briefing in Hanoi.
Vietnam asked China to immediately stop its infringing activities, withdraw its research ship, coast guard vessels and fishing vessels from Vietnamese waters, respect Vietnam's sovereign rights and jurisdiction, and strictly implement the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, she added.
Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea as its territory and has built artificial islands with military-capable facilities over reefs and outcrops in the area, which are also claimed in part by Vietnam.
Oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea is a highly fraught issue in China and Vietnam, which saw a series of violent disputes between 1974 and 1988 over control of the Spratly and Paracel Islands
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