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China pulls out its drilling platform from disputable Paracel Islands

July 16, 2014, 19:50 UTC+3 HANOI
The drilling platform was put in the area of the Paracel Islands, disputed by China and Vietnam, 75 days ago
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© EPA/BICH TRAM

HANOI, July 16. /ITAR-TASS/. China has begun removing its drilling platform Haiyang Shiyou 981 from the disputable part of the South China Sea where its operation has caused serious tensions with Hanoi.

The drilling platform was put in the area of the Paracel Islands, disputed by China and Vietnam, 75 days ago. Initially, Beijing said the platform would be prospecting for oil and gas until August 15. Vietnam said this was unacceptable and accused Beijing of “serious violation” of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Following the end of the drilling, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its official website that the Xisha Islands were the original Chinese territory and industrial activities there by Chinese companies were a matter of sovereignty of China and of its sovereign rights and jurisdiction.

The Paracel Islands and nearby the Spratlys have long been the subject of a territorial dispute between China and Vietnam. These territories have also been claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

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