New Delhi: A fresh stand-off between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea (SCS) has the potential to disturb the equation between Beijing and New Delhi.
Vietnam has alerted India about the presence of two Chinese Coast Guard ships in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in SCS where ONGC Videsh is engaged in oil exploration at Block 06.1. Vietnam has claimed that Chinese soldiers have asked ONGC Videsh to stop work at the Block.
“The Chinese Coast Guards came to the Block on August 13 and made announcement through speakers asking for the work to stop. They (Chinese) thought the protest will be minimum from our side. But this blatant violation has been brought to the notice of India. As of now ONGC continues to be present there and work has not stopped.
We have also sent our Coast Guard ships where ONGC Videsh is working. We will resolutely and persistently protect interests of Vietnam and ONGC if they are physically stopped from working in the oil field,” a Vietnamese diplomatic source told this newspaper on Wednesday.
While the two neighbours were recently engaged in a month-long stand-off from July 3, the Chinese never ventured to the area where ONGC Videsh is engaged in oil exploration, a Vietnamese source said.
However, the source added, that on August 13, the Chinese were back again in Vietnam’s EEZ with 20 ships, out of which, two are on a daily basis hanging around Block 06.1 and asking the Indian company to stop work.
ONGC has two oil fields in Vietnam EEZ — Block 06.1 and Block 0-5....