News / Asia

Chinese Warnings Foreshadow Tension With India Over Sea Oil

Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan (L) poses with China's State Councilor Dai Bingguo - days after China dispatched a fishing enforcement ship to the disputed Paracel Islands in a move raising tension with rival claimant Vietnam - at the Go
Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan (L) poses with China's State Councilor Dai Bingguo - days after China dispatched a fishing enforcement ship to the disputed Paracel Islands in a move raising tension with rival claimant Vietnam - at the Go
Kurt Achin

China dispatched a fishing enforcement ship to the disputed Paracel Islands, an agency under the country's Farm Ministry said, in a move likely to fuel tension with rival claimant Vietnam, days before Dai Bingguo's visit to Hanoi. Vietnam and China, along with the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim some island territories in the South China Sea. China's claim cover the largest area and includes the Paracel area, composed of uninhabitable small islands, rich fishing grounds and thought to hold significant oil and gas deposits.

India’s foreign minister is visiting Vietnam this week, where officials are negotiating oil exploration deals in areas of the South China Sea.  China lays claim to vast parts of the region, and officials in Beijing have said there can be no such exploration in territory they claim. Amid this backdrop, tensions are rising between the two emerging world powers.

Days after media reports said that India’s state-owned oil company was in talks with Vietnam over oil and gas exploration rights in the South China Sea, China’s Foreign Ministry issued a pointed warning.

Spokesman Hong Lei said any country engaged in oil and gas exploration activities in this jurisdiction without the approval of the Chinese government is infringing upon China's sovereignty and national interest, and its actions are therefore illegal and invalid.

Territorial claims amid energy hunt

India's Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna is in Vietnam with a stated diplomatic focus of expanding energy exploration near islands in the South China Sea, which Vietnam claims as its own. China says history entitles it to claim the entire South China Sea and the islands in question.  

Warnings to stay out of the decades-long dispute between Beijing and Hanoi began emerging last week, even before Minister Krishna departed for the Vietnamese capital.

Chinese spokeswoman Jiang Yu said China hopes foreign countries will not get involved in the dispute and support efforts to solve the dispute through bilateral channels.

Indian officials say they plan to increase the scope of energy cooperation with Vietnam. Senior Indian Defense Ministry Official M. Pallam Raju said India's resolve to back its diplomacy is firm.

"We will protect our interests very strongly, so there's no backing away from that. There's no reticence," said Raju.

Many nations sharing borders

Besides China and Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines also have competing claims over the South China Sea.

Despite the contested claims, Teshu Singh, a research officer with the Delhi-based Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, backs Indian officials who say the energy deals with Vietnam are legitimate.

"Indian cooperation with Vietnam or any other country for that matter in the world is always as per international laws, norms, and conventions. It's just another part of larger India-Vietnam ties," said Singh.

Complicating factors

Besides containing rich potential deposits of energy, the South China Sea is a source of seafood for all of Southeast Asia, and a major thoroughfare for commerce. Singh said because so many nations depend on the area, brinksmanship over the region is both unlikely and undesirable.

"It's not just about two or three countries. So I believe a sense of preventive diplomacy has to be built in this area. There has to be some preventive mechanism in this area," said Singh.

There are several other irritants in the India-China relationship. India hosts the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader whom China views as a separatist. Chinese maps also claim an entire northeastern Indian state as part of its control over Tibet. Additionally, China's military and nuclear support of Pakistan makes many Indian leaders uneasy.

Still, both sides argue they have more to gain from economic cooperation than confrontation. The two countries will have an opportunity to address the South China Sea issue and other issues of concern at the first India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, scheduled to take place next week in Beijing.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid