China has called on Vietnam to pull out all its vessels and stop interfering with drilling near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Vietnamese boats had rammed Chinese vessels in the area more than 1,200 times, infringing China’s sovereignty rights and jurisdiction, Xinhua reported Thursday.
China has erected a drilling platform in the area, which Vietnam claims as being within its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf. The report said the first phase of drilling and exploration on the project has been completed and the second phase work is expected to be done by mid-August.
Hong said the site of rig 981 is southeast of Zhongjian Island, one of the Xisha Islands, as the group is called in China. Vietnam refers to them as the Hoàng Sa Archipelago.
Hong also called on the Vietnamese authorities to safeguard Chinese interests and rights in Vietnam following anti-Chinese riots in the country last month.
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