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Hanoi hopes for CIS support in South China Sea dispute — president

May 19, 2014, 16:42 UTC+3 HANOI
The tension in the South China Sea started after China had installed an oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 and started test drilling on the territory of in the area of the disputed Paracel Islands
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Chinese coast guard vessels near the area of China's oil drilling rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea (archive)

Chinese coast guard vessels near the area of China's oil drilling rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea (archive)

© EPA/STR

HANOI, May 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang expressed hope the CIS countries would support Hanoi in settlement of the territorial conflict with China in the South China Sea.

During talks with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev who is now on visit in Hanoi, he urged the CIS members to give more attention to navigation security on the whole and the mentioned situation in particular. He also expressed hope they would support Hanoi in peaceful negotiations on the basis of the1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The tension in the South China Sea started after China had installed an oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 on May 1 and started test drilling on the territory of in the area of the disputed Paracel Islands Vietnam deems its exclusive economic zone. Illegal activities were maintained by more than 130 Chinese ships, many of which repeatedly threatened the Vietnamese coast guard, added Truong Tan Sang.

According to China, the rig will explore the area for oil until August 15. Confrontation near the rig has recently intensified as Chinese surveillance vessels guarding the rig used water cannons against Vietnamese fishing and coast guard ships protecting Vietnam’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Hanoi described these actions as dangerous and demanded that Beijing refrained from steps that could escalate tension in the sea.

The dispute over the Paracel Islands and the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea is multinational. The territories estimated to have considerable hydrocarbon reserves are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines.

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