May 26, 2023 | 8:59 PM
China has dispatched a research vessel and five escort ships to the waters where a Russian state-owned company operates a gas mining area jointly with Hanoi.
AFP (via Getty Images)
China on Friday once again ignored Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), sending five research vessels and escort vessels into joint waters with Russian state-owned enterprises. operate the gas block With Hanoi in the South China Sea, which is rich in energy.
The movement Beijing’s latest escalation steps in the region According to Reuters, a survey vessel was dispatched for the first time earlier this month, along with a China Coast Guard vessel and nearly a dozen other vessels.
The research vessel Xiangyang Hong 10 passed through the gas block known as 04-03 on Friday, operated by Betsov-Petr, a joint venture between Russian-owned Zarbezhneft and PetroVietnam.
The news comes a day after Vietnam called for it to leave the waters near the Spratly Islands after a Chinese vessel first invaded them on May 7.
China has tried claim sovereignty It spans the entire South China Sea and has recently become increasingly aggressive toward neighboring countries with jurisdiction over vast maritime areas such as the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Vietnam issued a rare public statement on Thursday demanding Chinese ships passing through Block 129, also operated by Vietnam Prom, to leave the area.
Chinese spokesman Mao Ning responded to questions from reporters after the statement on Friday, and the Chinese government said: Spratly Islands Sovereignty Jurisdiction over Adjacent Waters.
“Chinese related vessels are conducting normal activities under Chinese jurisdiction.
“There is no problem of entering the exclusive economic zone of another country.”
International vessels are permitted to pass through the exclusive economic zones of other countries as they are not in the direct territory of any particular sovereign, but states have special rights with respect to exploration, use of marine resources and energy production. We have jurisdiction over that territory under recognized international law. .
Ray Powell, head of the South China Sea project at Stanford University, said of the blatant disregard for the South China Sea: Vietnam exclusive economic zone It is the most significant incursion in the region since 2019 and a “growing alarming situation.”