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: HighlandVN from: HCMC
May 12, 2014 8:21 PM
It is no doubt that China is extremely aggressive and its controlling requirements in this East Sea of Vietnam is totally illegal and unacceptable. Therefore, Vietnam has to defense this Sea. Much appreciate if Vietnam has the value supports of US, ASEAN members and other countries around the World! Vietnam had better allow and invite the ships of US as well as other countries which is interested in this dispute to enter to this area to observe, collect data and report to the International courts when Vietnam has a lawsuit against China. Dear all, please support Vietnam to fight against China. Thank you!

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
May 12, 2014 8:13 PM
Hi, VOA,don't forget to put Taiwan in that list!
Democratic Taiwan use the same nine dash line to claim the entire South China Sea!
Taiwan, ROC, published the China sea map in 1947 which introduced the first time of the nine dash line! No one protested it until they found oil at the bottom.
You should have a good judgement of which side is greedy.
Viet is a weak small country but clames 80% SCS? That is rediculous!
In Response

by: Seato
May 13, 2014 1:01 PM
In the old days,when it came to uninhabited islands,whoever that successfully and continuously set up administration over them,became their rightful owners.China,for over a thousand years,has tried so many times to expand their territory to the South.They have somehow been defeated and pushed back by the defiant and tough Vietnamese every time.That's why,Vietnam,although small,but has succeeded in securing their control over the Paracel islands .

If you know your history,you should not forget that while China was conquered by the Mongols and the Manchus,and China was annexed into the Mongol Yuan and Manchu Qing dynasties.While Vietnam was kicking the daylight out of the Mongols and Manchus,the Chinese were being trampled on by them.I hope that would answer your question why Vietnam has unquestionable sovereignty over these islands
In Response

by: John Lone from: California
May 13, 2014 1:06 AM
Taiwain does not behave erratic like china!

by: Tuan from: Vietnam
May 12, 2014 3:52 PM
Why does China mainland claim 90% of South China Sea? Why do they create tension in the region? What do they think of other countries with no respect? Greedy, greedy, greedy chinese! They have been a trouble maker since the history of china. They keep pushing other countries untill other countries to return their favor. Dead to the greedy chinese leaders and CNOOC company.
In Response

by: ken from: USA
May 13, 2014 3:12 PM
FYI to the Chinese government! When mess with the Vietnam, you're going down. Ask the French & American...
In Response

by: remie from: canada
May 13, 2014 7:53 AM
jonathan huang, you r the biggest coward hiding in Canada. Also your fake propaganda[lies] doesnt fool any one. I also live in Canada hint hint.
In Response

by: John Lone from: California
May 13, 2014 1:09 AM
Short term solution for china: Keep up the pressure on china and bring it to ITLOS court like the Philiipines.

Long term solution for china: Working on nukes and long range missiles capable hitting anywhere in china.

Smaller countries signed the NPT with an assumption big power like china to behave responsibly and china has already broken the code of conduct therefore smaller countries will take the matter into their own hands with all options are on the table.
In Response

by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
May 12, 2014 10:54 PM
Why viet is tiny but claims 80% of South China Sea? This commie nation is really greedy!
In Response

by: Vivian from: Canada
May 12, 2014 9:22 PM
that beast invaded Tibet, claiming / disputing with Japan Senkaku island, illegally occupied Spratt island which belonged to Vietnam, has conflicts with Philippines on other island, chinese fishermen were captured by Korean, Japanese Philippines authorities from catching fish...on their territories...what else China wants to do ? Claiming the world is theirs, redrawing the world map on the water and bullying other small nations...
In Response

by: Danh from: Australia
May 12, 2014 8:23 PM
Totally agree with you!
Comments page of 2

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