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India makes waves with South China Sea oil and gas exploration

(Global Times)

09:49, September 18, 2011

India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna began a 3-day visit to Vietnam on Friday as reports claimed that an Indian state-owned oil producer is set to undertake joint exploration of gas resources in the South China Sea with Vietnam, in spite of protests from Beijing.

The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) was reported on Thursday to have cemented a deal with Vietnamese firms to exploit oil and gas in two offshore South China Sea oil blocks with Krishna expected to discuss the issue in Vietnam.

The Indian External Affairs Ministry also reportedly claimed on Thursday that the project has been approved by Vietnam, which claims sovereignty over the two blocks, according to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Responding to a question concerning these plans, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu responded Thursday that the UN Convention did not give any country the right to expand their own exclusive economic zone and continental shelf into other countries' territories. Jiang also warned countries outside the region to support the resolution of this dispute through bilateral channels.

"As for oil and gas exploration activities, our consistent position is that we are opposed to any country engaged in oil and gas exploration and development activities in waters under China's jurisdiction. We hope foreign countries do not get involved in the South China Sea dispute," she said, according to Xinhua News Agency.

However, Krishna said on Thursday that China's objection had no legal basis, according to the Hindustan Times.

An Indian Ministry of External Affairs official said that despite China's concerns, the cooperation would proceed based on approval from Vietnamese authorities, the report said.

The remark came after an Indian Navy vessel was allegedly warned by the Chinese Navy in Chinese Waters in late July. New Delhi later protested the violation of the "freedom of navigation in international waters," including in the South China Sea, Xinhua reported.

The disputed waters in the South China Sea are also claimed by countries including Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia and contain rich oil reserves, estimated at up to 28 billion barrels.

China and Vietnam agreed in June to address the dispute through negotiations and consultations. At that time, both sides vowed to work together to avoid actions detrimental to bilateral friendship and mutual trust. They also agreed to adopt effective measures to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.

The joint exploration between India and Vietnam is not accidental since in recent years, India has taken an increasingly eastward-looking stance, according to Wu Xinbo, professor at the Center for American Studies, Fudan University.

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Leave your comment31 comments

  1. Name

Sasi at 2011-10-25122.178.182.*
If China can develop Pakistan occupied Kashmir which is under dispute why cant India develop the South China oilfields?
aQpRiFYTp at 2011-10-21217.219.45.*
I"m out of league here. Too much brain power on dsipaly!
retards at 2011-09-27124.181.221.*
good view
PD User at 2011-09-22122.177.90.*
Chinese are an old civilized civilisation but now, it has been corrupted by the European idea. They now speak something and do something else. They conceal there real intensions. Such policy has deep roots in Islamism also. Chinese should revert back to their base civilisation by another cultural revolution. Only then, they will get back their fundamental rights as human beings.
PD User at 2011-09-2176.69.63.*
Re: Sunil at 2011-09-20 17:34:23 IP:122.180.99.★ China has disputes with most of its neighbors -----------------------------------------You know why? Because these neighbouring countries infringe on Chinese territory.

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