Vietnam says others should respect its right to drill for oil in troubled waters

By Reuters, VnExpress   July 28, 2017 | 07:25 pm GMT+7
Vietnam says others should respect its right to drill for oil in troubled waters
This file photo shows a Vietnamese naval soldier stands guard at Thuyen Chai Island in the Spratly Archipelago January 17, 2013. Photo by Reuters

'Vietnam's petroleum-related activities take place in the sea entirely under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of Vietnam.'

Vietnam on Friday said other countries should respect its legitimate right to drill for oil in its waters in the East Sea, the Vietnamese reference for the South China Sea.

"Vietnam's petroleum-related activities take place in the sea entirely under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of Vietnam established in accordance with international law," Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said in a statement sent to Reuters.

"Vietnam proposes all concerned parties to respect the legitimate rights and interests of Vietnam."

China claims almost 90 percent of the potentially energy rich ocean despite competing claims from Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan. The waters are thought to hold vast untapped reserves of oil and natural gas that could potentially place those who control them in league with the likes of Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Qatar.

Since 2014, China has ramped up a number of land reclamation projects in the Spratly Islands, a move that has pitted it against Vietnam and the Philippines. Despite a raft of diplomatic protests including an international lawsuit brought by the Philippines, China has forged ahead with its island-building spree.