News / Asia

Vietnam, China Exchange Water Cannon Spray Near Disputed Oil Rig

China, Vietnam oil rig dispute, near Paracel Islands
China, Vietnam oil rig dispute, near Paracel Islands
VOA News
Vietnam's state-run media says one of the country's patrol ships has exchanged water cannon fire with Chinese vessels in an escalating dispute over Beijing's placement of an oil rig in disputed waters of the South China Sea.

The reports say the two sides shot high pressured water at each other Monday near the site of the oil rig, there were no reports of casualties.   

At the just-concluded ASEAN summit in Burma, also known as Myanmar, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung accused Beijing of "extremely dangerous action" and called for the bloc to take a united stand on the issue.

ASEAN expressed "serious concern" over the situation and called for a peaceful resolution, but it did not mention China by name.

Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Hanoi's efforts to rally ASEAN against Beijing are bound to fail.

"The facts prove that Vietnam's attempt to rope in other parties and put pressure on China will not succeed," she said. "We hope that Vietnam can see the situation clearly, calmly face up to reality, and stop harassing Chinese operations."
FILE - In this photo released by Vietnam Coast Guard, a Chinese ship (L) shoots a water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel (R) while a Chinese Coast Guard ship (C) sails alongside in the South China Sea, off Vietnam's coast, May 7, 2014.FILE - In this photo released by Vietnam Coast Guard, a Chinese ship (L) shoots a water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel (R) while a Chinese Coast Guard ship (C) sails alongside in the South China Sea, off Vietnam's coast, May 7, 2014.
FILE - In this photo released by Vietnam Coast Guard, a Chinese ship (L) shoots a water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel (R) while a Chinese Coast Guard ship (C) sails alongside in the South China Sea, off Vietnam's coast, May 7, 2014.
FILE - In this photo released by Vietnam Coast Guard, a Chinese ship (L) shoots a water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel (R) while a Chinese Coast Guard ship (C) sails alongside in the South China Sea, off Vietnam's coast, May 7, 2014.
Su Hao, director of the Center for Strategic and Conflict Management at China Foreign Affairs University, said Hanoi is the one trying to change the status quo, not Beijing.

"The problem at the moment is the Vietnamese have not accepted Chinese ad hoc control over the Paracel Islands. That's a problem. I do think that the Vietnamese should take a realistic attitude to accept the reality of China's [control] over the Paracel Islands," said Su.

Last week, Hanoi accused Chinese ships of intentionally ramming its vessels and blasting them with water cannons, injuring six Vietnamese sailors. This is the first time Vietnam has said its own ships also fired water cannons at the Chinese.

Tran Truong Thuy, director of the Center for SCS Studies, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, told VOA's Vietnamese service the tensions are an opportunity for expanded U.S.-Vietnam relations, but he said he does not expect a military alliance between the two.

"The South China Sea is where both nations share so many common interests, especially freedom of navigation and regional peace and stability. Both Vietnam and the U.S. are concerned about whether an arising China is a threat and if they are indeed developing peacefully. Those common concerns will accelerate Vietnam-U.S. relations.”

In Washington on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States and other nations are deeply concerned about what he called "aggressive" Chinese action in the South China Sea. Kerry said the dispute should be resolved peacefully through arbitration, but not confrontation.

China claims nearly the entire South China Sea. Its claims overlap with that of ASEAN members Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and  the Philippines.

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

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Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: C.Thang Za Tuan from: Yangon, Myanmar
May 16, 2014 7:36 AM
Continue fight on the good fight. You have the Restored Sword from the big tortoise in the Hoan Kiem lake. I know the story when I visited Hanoi in 1996; Don't be afraid or dismay, God is in your side.

by: James Trang from: U S A
May 14, 2014 8:27 PM
Vietnam keep it up, you are doing a good job

by: meanbill from: USA
May 14, 2014 1:19 PM
Better to fight with water cannon and water pistols, than fight a real war where some will lose their lives? --- "The Art of War" .. by Sun Tzu?
In Response

by: Tom from: Canada
May 14, 2014 9:11 PM
LMAO..That's a bad ass quote.

by: jose from: usa
May 13, 2014 1:54 PM
People in Vietnam is ready to fight the giant China if needs to defend its mother land regardless if they are getting any helps of other vietnamese living oversea and of other countries.

To the vietnamese living oversea and in the US- this is your opportunity to claim back the country. You are defending the mother land and not the govt running now. You are part of the mother land. Fight for it and own it back!.
In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
May 14, 2014 12:17 PM
Yes, Vietnamese all over the world are embargoing Chinese products, including in U.S. All Vietnamese must do their part and not buy any products from China to support Vietnam against Chinese aggression. Freedom is not free and requires sacrifice. Don't depend on others to fight China for us. Some people with Vietnamese names that say no are not Vietnamese but Chinese who changed their name to emigrate to Western countries as Vietnamese refugees.
In Response

by: Tony H. from: USA
May 14, 2014 7:42 AM
Not just no but hell no !!
In Response

by: Tung Nguyen from: US
May 13, 2014 11:42 PM

by: kamikaze from: Japan
May 13, 2014 10:18 AM
China or Chinese , every evil thing is cased by China; however, I believe that Chinese nationals except Communists are very sensible and cooperative with other counties. The USA has lost its dignity since the present president took office. Japan is now in a hurry to revise its Constitution for the purpose of getting rid of evil power like PRC so as to fight for the justice.
In Response

May 13, 2014 1:14 PM
Hopefully,Mr Abe would get his way.Japan is the only hope left for Asia.America is all talks.They always back down every time the Chinese warships confront and challenge them in the South China Sea.That's why China behaves they way they do now.ASEAN countries are all bitterly indignant with China's arrogance,aggression and disrespect for international laws

by: Tyler from: Vancouver
May 13, 2014 1:05 AM
China has just recently crawled out of poverty and now they want war? Don't they want a good life for their people? What a bunch of idiots running that country. I think China needs another Tiananman Square event to overturn that government and put all of those corrupted government officials in jail for life. What would you gain if war breaks out? Morons with money will do stupid things!

by: Tuan from: VN
May 13, 2014 12:51 AM
Taiwan is not as greedy as the china mainland. Taiwan claims small part of the sea, not the 9-dash.
Johnathan huang claims that he from Canada but he is greedy like the chinese mailand. Greedy chinese steal stuffs from people. Dead to the greedy chinese.
In Response

by: I'm Vietnamese from: Vn
May 14, 2014 2:48 AM
@huang: sir,at least they did not act aggressive and unacceptable as what your government China are doing (I have read all your comments trying blame Taiwan and the USA, just only Chinese government hates both countries .It shows you're from mainland and I guess you're working for Chinese government) sorry but I can not trust in the people who not dare to show where their real location.
In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
May 13, 2014 7:21 PM
You are brainwashed by your evil commie government, my dear friend. What you need to do is to get rid of the evil regime, not to turn away your Chinese friend!
Btw, inTaiwans text book, ROC include the whole South China Sea, Diaoyu islands, Tibet, whole Mongolia, xinjiang and Manchuria.
And Taiwan just announced that both China and viet should leave it sea territory. No fight is allowed in Taiwan's sea territory!

by: Mark from: Virginia
May 12, 2014 10:44 PM
I just got to say this; on one hand much of the rest of the world is complaining that the US is getting too involved in matters it need not involve itself, that America is meddling, power hungry, 'where America goes, destruction follows' etc. etc.
Then, there follows several opinions that the US (and other countries) must investigate and 'meddle' in disputes in the South China Sea.
Which way do you want it, US meddling, or not US meddling? You can't have it both ways. Personally, I wish America stopped sticking its nose in everyone else's business and concentrate on fixing problem at home, instead of trying to fix other countries' problems and drawing the anger and ire of the rest of the world's opinion about us.
Learn to deal with problems yourselves instead of hollering for American aid at the first sign of trouble.
In Response

by: I'm vietnamese from: Vn
May 14, 2014 3:02 AM
@mr huang: " the rightful owner " earned by bullying ,threatening small countries? If China has right, why your Chinese government deny to face Philippine at international court , mr "rightful owner" liar ???
In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
May 13, 2014 7:25 PM
There would be no SCS conflicts at all, if America leaved Asia.
All the problems are incited by America. Without Americas inciting, no country dare to challenge China the rightful owner of SCS.
Go away, America.

by: Sam Walton
May 12, 2014 10:21 PM
Watch out for new world leader! China has ignored the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

USA send a warning message to China:
Vietnam/China: Chinese Oil Rig Operations Near the Paracel Islands
Press Statement
Jen Psaki
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC

May 7, 2014
China’s decision to introduce an oil rig accompanied by numerous government vessels for the first time in waters disputed with Vietnam is provocative and raises tensions. This unilateral action appears to be part of a broader pattern of Chinese behavior to advance its claims over disputed territory in a manner that undermines peace and stability in the region.
We are also very concerned about dangerous conduct and intimidation by vessels operating in this area. We call on all parties to conduct themselves in a safe and professional manner, preserve freedom of navigation, exercise restraint, and address competing sovereignty claims peacefully and in accordance with international law.
Sovereignty over the Paracel Islands is disputed; this incident is occurring in waters claimed by Vietnam and China near those islands. These events highlight the need for claimants to clarify their claims in accordance with international law, and to reach agreement on appropriate behavior and activities in disputed areas.

“The United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, open
access to Asia’s maritime commons and respect for international law in the
South China Sea,” Mrs. Clinton said.

However, with new carrier and modernized Army and Navy China has ignored USA
warning by continue build up military

USA may have to use the economy card to punish China by limiting or stop investment in manufacturing in China and bring jobs home. Let face it, most of products from Walmart, Caterpillar, Nike, Apple, Gap, and others are made in China just names few...while we have millions of American receiving unemployment benefits???

Are we pay (invest) to China so that we would lost our manufacturing jobs and indirectly promoting the Chinese to be our new world leader?

Shameful? ignorance? or naive?

by: John from: London
May 12, 2014 9:08 PM
I love Chinese people.
But I really hate China's Officials/Leaders. They always want to fight other countries and even their Chinese people.
In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
May 12, 2014 10:57 PM
We Chinese will fight till our last blood to protect our mother land.
Don't forget how we beat you down in Korea war!
Comments page of 2

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