China-Vietnam Row Heats Up Over Competing Offshore Claims

China-Vietnam Row Heats Up Over Competing Offshore Claims

China has deployed four combat ready patrol ships to a disputed area of the South China Sea, state media Xinhua news agency said on Sunday, amid a deepening row with Vietnam over competing territorial claims.

Tensions in the South China Sea rose to a new level on June 25, 2012, when state-backed China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) said in a statement on its website that it is opening nine offshore blocks in the South China Sea for joint operation with foreign companies. 
Seven of the blocks are sited in the Zhongjianan Basin, while two are located in areas covering the Wan'an Basin and the Nanweixi Basin. The blocks, in water depths between 984 feet to 13,123 feet (300 meters to 4,000 meters), span an area of 61,824 square miles (160,124 square kilometers), CNOOC said. 
Vietnam reacted swiftly to CNOOC's announcement and it lashed out at China through a series of public statements.
The latest statement by the Vietnam Petroleum Association (VPA) on June 30, 2012, labeled China's move as "illegal" because the blocks encroach on what Vietnam claims are its territorial waters.
In relation to Vietnam's coastline, the blocks are 57 nautical miles from the coast of Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa Province and 37 nautical miles from Phu Quoc Island, data from the VPA shows. The blocks lie deeply on the continental shelf of Vietnam, overlapping offshore blocks from 128 to 132 and from 145 to 156 where PetroVietnam are operating, added the VPA.
"The VPA strongly condemns [CNOOC's] action and requests that it immediately cease the unlawful bid invitation," its statement read.
The waters which China and Vietnam are locking horns over is an area that covers a myriad of uninhabited islands and atolls, also known as the Spratly Islands. 
The Spratly Islands have been a flashpoint for confrontation between China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei on many occasions. All six have laid claim to the Spratly Islands that sit on potentially rich offshore oil and gas blocks. 
China-Vietnam Row Heats Up Over Competing Offshore Claims


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Gideon Oriomojor | Jul. 8, 2012
For the sake of peace one of the country can make a sacrifice to let go

Journeyman | Jul. 6, 2012
In the end, the only people who can stop this are the Americans. The nations surrounding the disputed area are too weak to not be pushed around by China. China is counting on America being distracted, over-extended and tired of conflict. However, if China isn't stopped, it will set a precedent that they will continue to follow to who knows what lengths. Such a precedent will be taken up by other equally belligerent countries around the world. Russia will claim more than its fair share of the Arctic for sure. International laws will seem to be unenforceable in the face of might and a territorial feeding frenzy will probably result. How long before the legal sanctity of Antarctica is broken by these resource greedy nations?

Antonio S. Tan, Jr | Jul. 6, 2012
China is very arrogant now they want to be a leader in asian countries, if the south east asian countries will join force and fight for thier right, were sorry for china

rakeshkapila | Jul. 3, 2012
Vietnam has full rights to the oil in its continental shelf. It should develop a nuclear device as deterant to Chinese aggression. China is also trying to claim a part of Arctic where it does not have any borders all, similiar to the case of South China Sea. They already have Tibet and Sinkiang in their pockets, may be they will like to have all the neighbouring countries included in the middle kingdom. They may carry the red flag, but should have a blue face with the real shame and deceit. Let us all recognize Taiwan as the legitimate successor to the PRC. and shut their mouth and refuse to talk to them.

Rosa | Jul. 3, 2012
Vietnam news over dispute with China ...

Capt P Denny | Jul. 2, 2012
The "Shape of things to come" is appropriate and the forerunner of China flexing its military muscle to gather in future energy supplies. Perhaps also presently connected to the Iranian sanctions that China has agreed too.


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