South China Sea dispute escalates over oil rig (video)

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South China Sea conflictVietnam warned China that it would take all necessary measures to defend its interests in the South China Sea if Beijing does not remove a large oil rig from waters claimed by both countries.

The remarks represent an escalation of the dispute in one of Asia’s most volatile regions.

China’s stationing of the oil rig over the weekend is widely seen as one of its most provocative steps in a gradual campaign of asserting its sovereignty in the South China Sea.

China’s assertiveness along with its growing military and economic might is alarming Vietnam, the Philippines and other countries in the region that also claim parts of the oil- and gas-rich waters. The US, which is undertaking a military and economic “pivot’ toward Asia in part to counter Chinese influence, shares the concerns of the smaller nations.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called China’s action “provocative and unhelpful to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.”

A Vietnamese government statement said Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh called Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and told him the deployment of the $1 billion deep sea rig, which he said was accompanied by military vessels, was illegal and a violation of Vietnamese sovereignty.

On May 7, off Vietnam, dozens of Chinese military and civilian ships clashed with the Vietnamese coast guard, with Vietnamese officials complaining its vessels were repeatedly rammed. On the same day, Philippine police apprehended Chinese fishing vessels loaded with hundreds of sea turtles in disputed waters.

About 80 Chinese vessels moved into an area near the disputed Paracel Islands, where Hanoi has sought to prevent China from deploying the oil rig. The flotilla included seven military ships and that it was supported by aircraft.

Below a video released by the Vietnamese military where Chinese ships ram vessels of the Vietnam Navy.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Vietnam warned China that it would take all necessary measures to defend its interests in the South China Sea if Beijing does not remove a large oil rig from waters claimed by both countries.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

South China Sea conflictVietnam warned China that it would take all necessary measures to defend its interests in the South China Sea if Beijing does not remove a large oil rig from waters claimed by both countries.

The remarks represent an escalation of the dispute in one of Asia’s most volatile regions.

China’s stationing of the oil rig over the weekend is widely seen as one of its most provocative steps in a gradual campaign of asserting its sovereignty in the South China Sea.

China’s assertiveness along with its growing military and economic might is alarming Vietnam, the Philippines and other countries in the region that also claim parts of the oil- and gas-rich waters. The US, which is undertaking a military and economic “pivot’ toward Asia in part to counter Chinese influence, shares the concerns of the smaller nations.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called China’s action “provocative and unhelpful to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.”

A Vietnamese government statement said Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh called Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and told him the deployment of the $1 billion deep sea rig, which he said was accompanied by military vessels, was illegal and a violation of Vietnamese sovereignty.

On May 7, off Vietnam, dozens of Chinese military and civilian ships clashed with the Vietnamese coast guard, with Vietnamese officials complaining its vessels were repeatedly rammed. On the same day, Philippine police apprehended Chinese fishing vessels loaded with hundreds of sea turtles in disputed waters.

About 80 Chinese vessels moved into an area near the disputed Paracel Islands, where Hanoi has sought to prevent China from deploying the oil rig. The flotilla included seven military ships and that it was supported by aircraft.

Below a video released by the Vietnamese military where Chinese ships ram vessels of the Vietnam Navy.

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