It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
MANILA, Philippines – China warned Asian neighbors Thursday to stop searching for oil near the disputed Spratly Islands and vowed to assert its sovereignty over the potentially petroleum-rich territory in the South China Sea despite rival claims.
China and the Philippines have swapped diplomatic protests over the islands, with Filipino officials accusing Chinese forces of intruding into Manila-claimed areas six times since February and of firing shots in at least one incident. Beijing denied the allegation Thursday and said it would use violence only when attacked.
He said China has not started to drill for oil in the contested region, and warned other claimants to stop any oil exploration in the Chinese-claimed area without Beijing's permission. China claims the entire South China Sea.
"We're calling on other parties to stop searching for the possibility of exploiting resources in these areas where China has its claims," he told reporters.
He said China is open to engaging other claimant countries in jointly exploring for oil and gas in the region.
Asked what would happen if countries defy China, Liu said that Beijing would assert its right over the disputed region diplomatically. "We will never use force unless we are attacked," he said.
In Vietnam, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga said in a press briefing Thursday that a Chinese fishing boat supported by two patrol vessels that morning damaged the exploration cable of the seismic survey boat operated by state-owned PetroVietnam.
She said the actions of the Chinese boats were "completely premeditated" and "seriously violating Vietnam's sovereign rights."
The incident came just two weeks after Chinese patrol boats cut another cable on a survey boat off its central coast. Hanoi says both incidents occurred well within the 200 nautical miles guaranteed to Vietnam as an exclusive economic zone by international law.
Nga said Vietnam's Foreign Ministry officials met Thursday with Chinese Embassy officials to lodge protests. Last weekend, in rare protests spurred by Facebook and text messages, thousands of Vietnamese took to the streets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, demanding that China stay out of Vietnamese waters.
In the most serious incident reported by the Philippines, a Chinese navy vessel allegedly fired Feb. 25 to scare away Filipino fishermen from Jackson Atoll, which is claimed by Manila and relatively close to the Philippine shore.
The Philippine government also accused two Chinese patrol boats of harassing a Philippine oil exploration ship on March 2 into leaving a vast area called the Reed Bank. A Philippine general scrambled two military aircraft, which arrived after the Chinese vessels had left, the Philippine military said.
Liu said no Chinese vessel fired on Filipino fishermen but suggested that Chinese forces took action to keep the exploration ship from the Reed Bank.
The carrier, once launched, is expected to primarily serve as a training vessel for the navy and naval pilots who have been practicing landing aircraft on scale models. But specialists who study the People’s Liberation Army expect China to move quickly to build its own seaworthy carriers.
Even so, the launch of the first carrier is expected to raise the stakes for Washington and jangle the already edgy nerves of China’s neighbors upset with what they see as Beijing’s more assertive posture to enforce claims to disputed territories.
Over the past year, China has seen a flare-up in territorial spats with Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam and seen its relations strained with South Korea — all of whom have turned to Washington for support.
China’s official news agency, Xinhua, reported Thursday that the PLA navy will hold an exercise in international waters in the Western Pacific in the second half of June. The brief report, which cited the Defense Ministry, did not confirm the location but said that foreign media have recently reported that the Chinese navy recently sailed near Okinawa, the Japanese island that is home to several U.S. military bases.
HANOI - Vietnam accused a Chinese fishing boat of intentionally ramming its exploration ship in the South China Sea on Thursday, further raising tensions between the two countries.
The incident occurred when the Viking 2, chartered by state oil and gas giant PetroVietnam, was conducting a seismic survey inside Vietnam's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
"Despite the warning flag from the Vietnamese side the fishing boat No. 62226 intentionally rammed into the exploration cables of the Viking 2," Nguyen Phuong Nga told reporters.
A "cutting device" from the Chinese vessel got trapped in a net attached to the Viking 2, affecting the ship's ability to operate normally, Nga said, adding that two Chinese fishing enforcement vessels and other fishing boats arrived to assist the Chinese boat.
She said the area in question is completely under Vietnamese sovereignty according to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
On May 26 three Chinese marine surveillance vessels severed the exploration cables of another Vietnamese oil survey ship inside the 200 nautical mile zone, Vietnam alleged earlier.
In the past two weeks, Vietnamese fishermen have reported a rash of violent Chinese intrusions into Vietnamese waters. Some fear the incursions are part of a Chinese plot to take the East Sea by force.
“I've never seen anything like it," he said. "Normally, fishing boats keep a distance from one another while fishing. Now they travel in tight groups accompanied by naval ships. It’s clear that they want to intrude into Vietnamese waters and occupy our traditional fishing grounds."
In the past two months, he said, the Chinese have fired on their boats and chased them out of the area. “We fishermen will never accept this occupation," he said. "These are Vietnamese waters."
Vietnam is considering establishing fishery patrol teams to protect Vietnamese fishermen and boats within Vietnam’s territorial waters, as fishermen complained that Chinese boats are violating local fishing grounds. Under a proposal pending the government’ approval, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development would need nearly VND2.1 trillion (US$102.14 million) for building ten government fishery patrol boats and many others at 28 coastal provinces.
Tensions between China and Vietnam escalated over the weekend as each nation accused the other of violating its sovereignty in the oil-rich South China Sea. PetroVietnam, the state-owned oil and gas monopoly, said on Sunday that China had sabotaged Vietnamese oil exploration vessels, the latest accusation between the countries over the disputed waters. “When we conduct seismic survey and drilling operations, they [China] have aeroplanes flying over to survey our activities, they harass us with their vessels, and in extreme cases they cut our [exploration] cables,” said Do Van Hau, a senior PetroVietnam official.
Hundreds of Vietnamese have turned out to protest against Chinese naval operations in disputed waters of the South China Sea. The demonstrations in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City follow a confrontation last month between a Vietnamese oil and gas survey ship and Chinese patrol boats. They also carried signs that read: "Stop Chinese invasion of Vietnam's islands." They marched to the Chinese embassy, where Vietnamese police watched them for a time before leading them away.
Hanoi - Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Vietnam would protect its sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea, local media reported Thursday, raising the temperature of a simmering territorial dispute with China. The country's most powerful figure urged authorities 'to uphold the party and people's determination in safeguarding Vietnam's sovereignty,' the state-run Viet Nam News reported. President Nguyen Minh Triet echoed Dung's comments at a meeting in the north-eastern province of Quang Ninh, saying Vietnam was 'determined to protect' the islands, Viet Nam Net reported. 'We are ready to sacrifice everything to protect our homeland, our sea and island sovereignty,' he said.
south of mainland China and the island of Taiwan,
west of the Philippines,
north west of Sabah (Malaysia), Sarawak (Malaysia) and Brunei,
north of Indonesia,
north east of the Malay peninsula (Malaysia) and Singapore, and
east of Vietnam.
Indonesia, China, and Taiwan over waters NE of the Natuna Islands
The Philippines, China, and Taiwan over the Malampaya and Camago gas fields.
The Philippines, China, and Taiwan over Scarborough Shoal.
Vietnam, China, and Taiwan over waters west of the Spratly Islands. Some or all of the islands themselves are also disputed between Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
The Paracel Islands are disputed between the PRC/ROC and Vietnam.
Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam over areas in the Gulf of Thailand.
Singapore and Malaysia along the Strait of Johore and the Strait of Singapore.
Originally posted by CosmosKid
What's Chinca gonna do? Send they're navy out to blockade the Spratly's? The Chinese navy? Seriously? Maybe the U (Useless) N (Now) should get in on this. They know how to fix EVERYTHING!