UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuoc on Friday expressed serious concern over recent developments in the South China Sea, “where Chinese ships have been anchored in Vietnamese waters” since July, according to him.
In a joint press conference with his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, who is currently visiting Vietnam, Fuk expressed protest against the presence of Chinese survey vessels with the Coast Guard in oil-producing waters off the coast of Vietnam.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Lucy Hang said the Chinese ships were in a weeks-long standoff with Vietnamese ships, demanding that Beijing “immediately stop this violation of our sovereignty and withdraw all its vessels.”
Vietnam and Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, are at odds with China over wealthy areas in the South China Sea.
Beijing, which says it has a full right to control these areas, has already conducted reclamation operations in those areas.
On Thursday, the United States expressed concern about China’s interference in oil and gas activities in the South China Sea, including those in waters claimed by Vietnam.
The US State Department said in a statement that this is an escalation by Beijing in its attempts to intimidate others demanding their right to develop resources in the South China Sea.
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