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China defends oil rig in dispute with Vietnam

Published on Jun 9, 2014 1:08 AM
This video grab image taken on June 1, 2014 from Vietnam Coast Guard ship 2016 and released on June 5, 2014 shows the Chinese Coast Guard ship 46001 (L) chasing a Vietnamese vessel near to the site of the Chinese oil rig in the disputed waters in the South China Sea, off Vietnam's central coast. China fired water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel and damaged another of Hanoi's ships, Chinese state media said on June 3, in the latest confrontation over disputed waters in the South China Sea. --PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - China late Sunday issued a lengthy defence of its use of an oil rig in contested waters that is at the centre of a bitter dispute with Vietnam.

A statement on the foreign ministry website, relayed in full by the official news agency Xinhua, said the drilling operations near the Paracel Islands fell within China's "sovereignty and jurisdiction".

It also accused Vietnam of acting aggressively towards Chinese personnel, accusing Vietnamese vessels of "illegally and forcefully disrupting" work there and of ramming Chinese boats.

The oil rig is in the vicinity of the contested Paracel Islands, which are known as Hoang Sa in Vietnam and called Xisha by Beijing.

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