China-Vietnam sea incident not 'clash' says Chinese vice foreign minister

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said on Thursday that China and Vietnam could resolve disputes at sea peacefully and that an incident between the countries earlier this week in a part of the disputed South China Sea was not a "clash".

Vietnam said on Wednesday a Chinese vessel intentionally rammed two of its ships in an area where Beijing has deployed a giant oil rig, sending tensions spiralling in the region.

Cheng made the comments to reporters on the sidelines of a forum in Beijing.

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