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Beijing urges Hanoi to 'stop all disruptions'

中国日报网 2014-06-09 10:43

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Using frogmen, fishing nets, floating objects and hundreds of boat rammings, Vietnam escalated its harassment of China over Beijing’s legal oil drilling in the South China Sea, an unusually long statement from the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

Beijing stressed the importance of its relationship and communication with Hanoi in the statement, but experts warned that Hanoi will continue such provocations to cater to the country’s swelling nationalism and seek sympathy from the international community.

According to the statement on the Foreign Ministry’s website, "As of 5 pm on June 7, there were as many as 63 Vietnamese vessels in the area at the peak, attempting to break through China’s cordon and ramming Chinese government ships a total of 1,416 times.

"Vietnam also sent frogmen and other underwater agents to the area, and dropped large numbers of obstacles, including fishing nets and floating objects" in the waters where a Chinese company’s drilling rig was operating, it said.

Tension has soared since early May, when Vietnam challenged and harassed the rig’s operations near China’s Xisha Islands. Hanoi claims the rig is operating in its exclusive economic zone and on its continental shelf.

Beijing dedicated a large part of its latest statement on the issue to explaining the legitimacy of the rig’s operation and China’s indisputable sovereignty over the Xisha Islands, urging Vietnam to "immediately stop all disruptions of the Chinese operation and withdraw all vessels and personnel from the site".

"China wants good relations with Vietnam, but there are principles that China cannot abandon. The channel of communication between China and Vietnam is open," it said.

The rig, which started drilling on May 2, had completed the first phase of operation and entered the second phase on May 27.

Questions:

1. As of 5 p.m. on June 7, how many Vietnamese vessels were harassing Chinese ships?

2. What islands are at the center of this dispute?

3. When did the rig start drilling?

Answers:

1. As many as 63.

2. Xisha Islands.

3. May 2.

(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑)

About the broadcaster:

Anne Ruisi is an editor at China Daily online with more than 30 years of experience as a newspaper editor and reporter. She has worked at newspapers in the U.S., including The Birmingham News in Alabama and City Newspaper of Rochester, N.Y.

 

 

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