China / Politics

Recklessness on Vietnamese side in South China Sea must stop

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-05-28 15:58

BEIJING - The increasingly aggressive and dangerous acts of Vietnamese vessels against Chinese oil drilling in the South China Sea resulted in an unfortunate accident on Monday, which bode ill for the already tense situation.

Recklessness on Vietnamese side in South China Sea must stop
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea

A Vietnamese fishing boat capsized after it bumped into a Chinese vessel in the waters near China's Xisha Islands. Fortunately the crew aboard the boat were rescued immediately and were unhurt.

Such recklessness must stop. However, instead of containing the illegal intrusion of Vietnamese vessels and their attempts to obstruct normal operation of the Chinese oil rig, Vietnamese officials have made irresponsible and wild accusations against China, which could encourage and embolden Vietnamese activists into undertaking even more aggressive acts.

The boat accident was as a result of a kamikaze-style attack as the boat deliberately ran into Chinese waters and collided with one of the vessels protecting the oil rig. However, some Vietnamese officials blamed it on China and accused the country of "inhumane acts" and "attempted murder."

The Chinese side displayed restraint and issued warnings that were ignored by the Vietnamese boat.

The Vietnamese side should bear full responsibility for all its reckless acts and should refrain from taking any futher moves that will escalate tension and disrupt security in the South China Sea.

The Xisha Islands are Chinese territory and the drilling takes place in Chinese waters. The Vietnamese side's obstruction of business activities in Chinese waters has no legal grounds.

Oil drilling operations off the Xisha Islands have been conducted by Chinese companies for 10 years. The current operation, which has entered a second phase, is a normal legitimate offshore drilling task.

The oil rig off Zhongjian Island of the Xisha Islands lies 17 nautical miles (31 km) from the island, completely within China's territorial waters, while it is as far as 130-150 nautical miles (241-278 km) off Vietnam.

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