China Warns India against South China Sea Oil Exploration

China just warned India of its opposition to any effort to engage in oil exploration in the highly fought after South China Sea. China said that it does not want countries external to the region to interfere in the area.

China is against any unilateral activities of oil and gas exploration in areas like the South China Sea where many other countries are fighting over. Moreover, China is hoping that relevant nations respect the sovereignty and interests of the country, and suggests nations throughout the region fix conflicts via bilateral negotiations, said Hong Lei, the foreign ministry spokesman of China.

Lei was giving a reaction to the remarks of Navy Chief Admiral D. K. Joshi saying that the India’s Navy was ready to send out vessels to the South China Sea to guard the economic interests of India in the region.

Shivshankar Menon, a National Security Advisor, said that the remarks of Joshi were not correctly interpreted.

The reporting of the Navy Chief Admiral’s statements led to the stretching of the truth, said Menon, while concluding his three-day China visit. He added that China had not talked about the concern with him during the discussions.

While reporting the statements of Joshi, Global Times said that India isn’t an immediate claimant of islands that are being disputed in the South China Sea. However, an oil and gas exploration agreement that was signed in October 2011 by Vietnam and Oil and Natural Gas Corp, an Indian oil exploration company, has ignited a diplomatic conflict between New Delhi and Beijing in the fought after South China Sea.

By: Chris Termeer