Rosneft, a Russian oil firm and Govt of Vietnam are conducting oil exploration off the Coast of Vietnam in the Nautan Sea. This is a disputed area which has been named as South China Sea and so claimed by Beijing. So the Chinese have warned the Company, Vietnam and Russia that the exploration is being carried out without the permission if the Chinese government, any therefore such move would affect not only bilateral ties but even regional peace and stability.
Rosneft Vietnam BV is drilling a Well at LD-3P about 370 km from Vietnam which as per the Chinese is located within the area outlined by China’s nine-dash line of the so called South China Sea. Reacting to the news report the Chinese Minister Lu said, “I would like reiterate that any country, organisation, enterprise or individual should not conduct exploration or development activities in waters in China’s jurisdiction without the permission of the Chinese government. We urge the relevant parties to respect China’s sovereign rights, interests and jurisdiction and stop doing things that affect bilateral relations, regional peace and stability,”.
Lu’s sharp reaction, warning the Russian firm came despite China’s close ties with Russia, though China routinely objects to any drilling operations which falls into the area off Vietnamese coast. Earlier this year, China had objected to Vietnam’s Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh’s comments inviting Indian investments in his country’s oil sector. China has been opposing India’s ONGC exploring oil in the wells claimed by Vietnam in the Nautan Sea. India has been asserting that ONGC’s exploration is a commercial operation and not connected with the dispute.
China claims almost all of this sea south of Chinese Coast as South China Sea. while Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims. In fact Indonesia has rightly named the sea as Nautan Sea. It has been reported that the Chinese reaction came after Vietnamese officials ordered a batch of Chinese tourists to take off their T-shirts featuring a map of China and its so-called nine-dash line. Vietnam and China have been locked in a bitter struggle to assert their respective claims over the Nautan Sea. In 2014 this gad resulted in mass riots in Vietnam against Chinese companies.
India and Vietnam are now developing close strategic relations which covers all the areas of trade, commerce, science and technology, cultural exchanges m tourism and most important the realm of defence.