Vietnam has accused a Chinese oil-surveying vessel and its coast guard escorts of territorial breaches by widening their activities after entering its exclusive economic zone and operating within offshore blocks for three months.
As of Friday last week, the Haiyang Dizhi 8 has made several passes through the foreign-owned blocks off the coast of central Vietnam after departing from Chinese-controlled Fiery Cross Reef (Yongshu Reef, 永暑島) on Sept. 28, Marine Traffic satellite tracking data showed.
At least two Chinese Coast Guard ships further south maneuvered around a Singaporean-flagged support vessel in an oil block operated by Russia’s Rosneft Oil Co, the data showed.
“The Chinese survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 and its escort vessels continue, and expand their operations within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, thus seriously violating Vietnam’s sovereign rights,” Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a briefing in Hanoi yesterday.
Tensions between China and Vietnam have been on the rise since July, when the Chinese state-owned surveyor first began studying the seabed of the southern block in the disputed South China Sea operated by Rosneft.
China has warned Vietnam to abandon exploration projects with foreign companies that it says threaten its sovereignty.
State-owned Vietnam Oil & Gas Group last year ordered Spain’s Repsol to halt work on a project off Vietnam’s southern coast, costing the company and its partners as much as US$200 million.
Vietnam has become increasingly isolated in its efforts to push back against China, which is nearing a deal with the Philippines for joint energy exploration in a contested area of the sea and has just set up one-on-one talks with Malaysia to settle disputes.
“Once again, Vietnam demands that China immediately cease its serious violations, withdraw all of its vessels from Vietnam’s maritime zones and desist from repeating similar violations,” Hang said.
CLOSELY TRACKED: A US officer said that the warplanes were watched as they flew from Russia by way of Iran and Syria to Libya and were photographed multiple times The US Africa Command flatly rejected Russian claims that Moscow did not deploy fighter jets to Libya, saying on Friday that the 14 aircraft flown in reflect Russia’s long-term goal to establish a foothold in the region that could threaten NATO allies. US Brigadier General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence, said that the US tracked the MiG-29s and Su-24 fighter bombers flown in by Russian military, passing through Iran and Syria before landing at Libya’s al-Jufra air base. The base is the main forward airfield for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging an
‘SACRIFICED’: Hu Weifeng became the sixth doctor to die from COVID-19 at Wuhan Central Hospital, where calls to raise the alarm over the virus were suppressed The death of a Chinese doctor at Wuhan’s “whistle-blower hospital” has prompted a wave of anger at hospital authorities for not protecting front-line health workers in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. Hu Weifeng (胡衛鋒), 42, a urologist at Wuhan Central Hospital where the whistle-blower ophthalmologist Li Wenliang (李文亮) worked, died of the virus on Tuesday after a four-month battle. Hu is the sixth doctor from his hospital killed by the virus. Another doctor who spoke out, Ai Fen (艾芬), said that authorities told hospital staff not to wear protective gear so as not to cause panic and reprimanded her for “harming
Singapore’s otters, long adored by the city-state’s nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the COVID-19 lockdown, but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping center, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond. While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. There are estimated to be about
Indonesian officials are forcing people who break social distancing rules to recite Koran verses, stay in “haunted” houses and submit to public shaming on social media as the country battles to contain surging novel coronavirus infections. The Southeast Asian archipelago began deploying about 340,000 troops across two dozen cities to oversee enforcement of measures aimed at halting transmission of the disease, such as wearing masks in public. However, provincial leaders are buttressing these efforts with their own zealous campaigns to fight the coronavirus. Police in western Bengkulu Province have assembled a 40-person squad to find lockdown scofflaws and force them to wear