China condemns Vietnamese 'harassment' of ship in disputed waters
Published on May 7, 2014 11:50 AM
HONG KONG (REUTERS) - China has warned Vietnam not to disturb activities of Chinese companies operating near disputed islands in the South China Sea, after Hanoi condemned as illegal the movement of a giant Chinese oil rig into what it says is its territorial water.
The United States on Tuesday sharply criticised the movement of the deep sea oil rig, calling it "provocative and unhelpful to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region".
The relocation of the oil rig by China's state-run oil company is the latest show of Beijing's growing assertiveness, which is raising alarm among smaller countries in the region.
China's State Councilor Yang Jiechi told Vietnam's deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Pham Binh Minh, that Chinese firms operating in the Paracel Islands, which the Chinese call the Xisha Islands, are within the mandate of China's sovereignty and should not be subject to interference, according to a statement posted on the Chinese foreign ministry's website late on Tuesday.
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