Thursday, Apr 2, 2015Thursday, Apr 2, 2015

China says it wants to counter Vietnam's 'slander' over South China Sea

Published on Jun 10, 2014 8:55 PM
A Vietnamese Coast Guard ship (left) is challenged by a China Coast Guard ship near the site of a Chinese drilling oil rig (right, background) being installed in the disputed waters in the South China Sea off Vietnam's central coast on May 14, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Tuesday that it wanted to counter Vietnam's "slander" to the world about what was happening in disputed areas of the South China Sea, after Beijing asked the United Nations to circulate documents outlining its position.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua said that Mr Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, had asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon in a letter to circulate documents outlining China's position to all UN member states. China, he said, sought to "tell the international community the truth and set straight their understanding on the issue".

Asked about the move, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said Vietnam had been stepping up its harassment at sea and trying to vilify China on the international stage. "On the one hand, they have been increasing their damaging and harassing activities on the scene, while internationally everyone has seen they have been unbridled in starting rumours and spreading slander, unreasonably criticising China," she told a daily news briefing. China, she said, had to explain the "real situation" to be clear "about Vietnam's real aim in wantonly hyping things up".

Tensions have been running particularly high between China and Vietnam, focusing on China's positioning of an oil rig near another disputed archipelago, the Paracel Islands, which has lead to rammings at sea and anti-Chinese violence in Vietnam. China and Vietnam have traded accusations about the behaviour of their ships, including the use of water cannon and intentional rammings.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!