The US State Department expressed concern on Saturday over China’s “repeated provocative actions” targeting oil and gas exploration activities in other countries bordering the sea. Southern China.
These actions, he said in a statement, “threaten energy security in the region and weaken the market for free and open energy in the Indo-Pacific basin.”
Vietnam on Friday accused a Chinese petrol exploration vessel, the Haiyang Dizhi 8, and its escort of illegally entering its territorial waters and drilling for several days near the Spratly Islands.
The dispute between Beijing and Hanoi over sovereignty in the South China Sea has been ongoing for years.
China claims the sovereignty of a vast area in the South China Sea, delimited by a “nine-line” line that encompasses much of this maritime region rich in hydrocarbons and other resources.