Vietnam warned against sea pipeline

Updated: 2007-04-11 08:48

Chinese government said on Tuesday Vietnam had caused concern by agreeing with BP, a British oil company, to build a gas pipeline in the South China Sea.

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"China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and neighboring areas," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in Beijing.

"Vietnam's new actions infringing on China's sovereignty, sovereign power and administrative rights in the Nansha Islands (in the South China Sea) go against the important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries on this maritime issue," he emphasized.

"It is not beneficial to stability in the South China Sea area. China is paying close attention, and we have already made serious representations to the Vietnamese side," the spokesman said. "With everyone's hard work, the situation in the South China Sea has been stable."

Six-Party Talks

Qin also said that the February 13 agreement on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) nuclear issue may have run afoul of some difficulties, but that does not mean the Six-Party Talks have failed or will be rendered invalid.

"(The difficulties) are natural because the talks have never been smooth, but the fact that the situation has encountered difficulties doesn't mean that the talks don't work," Qin said at a news conference.

All parties are committed to the idea that negotiations are the only way to achieve a stable, nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and the normalization of diplomatic ties, he added.

The DPRK (North Korea) walked out of the Six-Party Talks last month when the transfer of $25 million that had been frozen at Banco Delta Asia in Macao did not come through.

The latest agreement between the parties gives Pyongyang 60 days to shut down its nuclear facilities in return for energy aid. That deadline falls on Saturday.

The US Treasury Department has said that Macao authorities are prepared to unblock the frozen funds.
The government of Macao Special Administrative Region said it was aware of the US Treasury statement and that it would work with all parties involved.

"Simultaneously, it expects all parties concerned to come up with appropriate and responsible arrangements," the government said on its website.

Qin said Bank of China, which had been initially prepared to accept the frozen funds on behalf of Pyongyang, still needed more time to think about it.

"It is a publicly listed company and has to conform to its international obligations and laws," he said.

As for the Darfur issue, Qin said that China hoped that former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan's peace plan would be implemented and that the UN troops would be employed as early as possible.

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