News / Asia

US Welcomes China Oil Rig Relocation

FILE - A Chinese Coast Guard vessel, with the disputed oil rig in the background, is seen in the South China Sea  June 13, 2014.
FILE - A Chinese Coast Guard vessel, with the disputed oil rig in the background, is seen in the South China Sea June 13, 2014.
Victoria MacchiTra Mi

The U.S. on Wednesday praised China's removal of an oil rig from disputed waters in the South China Sea, two months after its placement near the Paracel Islands sparked tensions with Vietnam.

Beijing says that after finding signs of oil and gas in waters claimed by both countries, the rig is being towed to the Chinese island of Hainan a month ahead of the announced end-date for drilling.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki Wednesday said the U.S. wants the issue resolved diplomatically.
 
"The oil rig incident has highlighted the need for claimants to clarify their claims in accordance with international law to reach a shared understanding on appropriate behavior and activities in disputed areas," said Psaki.

A 2002 Code of Conduct for the South China Sea, between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), should be the guiding document, Psaki added.

Moving the rig may, in part, be weather-related. Typhoon season has sent several storms through Southeast Asia already.

But the relocation still has political ramifications, says Carl Thayer, a security analyst with the Australian Defense Force Academy and a South China Sea expert. Primarily, he says, the move keeps the issue a bilateral one between China and Vietnam.

"It's to influence the debate in Hanoi, to prevent Vietnam from taking legal action against China as has been threatened, and to prevent Vietnam from aligning or stepping up its security cooperation with the United States," said Thayer.

Hanoi on Wednesday called the rig's placement "completely illegal" and demanded China not repeat the act.

Duong Danh Dy, a former Vietnamese diplomat to China, said in an interview with VOA's Vietnamese service that while Hanoi will never compromise its sovereignty, it will look for ways to peacefully settle the issue with Beijing.

"It's more likely that Vietnam will seek ways to ‘be in peace’ with China. Nevertheless, it’s really hard to have long-term peace with China. It’s not over yet, China will have further acts. It’s really hard to be China’s neighbor," said Dy.

Wang Zhen, of the China National Petroleum Corporation, has said the repositioning was a logistical decision. He said prospecting went as planned despite opposition from Hanoi.

"During the operation, as we've seen from the media reports, Vietnam held a series of protests and made disruptions. We oppose their actions from the angle of production. But we pushed forward our plan smoothly as scheduled and completed the task on time," said Zhen.

Boundary disputes in one of the world's most heavily navigated waterways created solidarity in recent months between Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam, which all challenge China's maritime claims.

China deployed the $1 billion state-operated oil rig in May, within what Vietnam considers its exclusive economic zone.

The rig's placement was seen as one of China's boldest yet to advance its wide-reaching maritime claims in the South China Sea, where it also has disputes with Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Hanoi has accused China of firing water cannons at and ramming Vietnamese fishing boats, including one that sank. Beijing has said Vietnam is the aggressor and its ships are ramming Chinese vessels.

The dispute also led to mass anti-China riots last month in Vietnam.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid