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China unveils documents to clarify Xisha situation

2014-06-10 08:33 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has released documents making clear Vietnam's provocation and China's stance regarding the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea, a ministry spokeswoman said on Monday.

China has always been committed to appropriately addressing the issue through bilateral communication while the Vietnamese side has kept escalating its provocation to disrupt a Chinese company's drilling operation inside the contiguous zone of China's Xisha Islands since May 2, Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing.

On May 2, the Chinese company's HYSY 981 drilling rig started its operation there for the purpose of oil and gas exploration. With the first phase of the operation completed, the second phase began on May 27. The two locations are 17 nautical miles from both Zhongjian Island of the Xisha Islands and the baseline of the territorial waters of Xisha Islands, yet approximately 133 to 156 nautical miles away from the coast of the Vietnamese mainland.

In the face of Vietnam's provocative actions on the sea, China has exercised great restraint and conducted over 30 communications with Vietnam at various levels, requesting it to stop its illegal disruption which is still continuing and increasing, according to the spokeswoman.

The Vietnamese side has also been making and spreading rumors to attack China, Hua added.

"Under such conditions, we feel it necessary to tell the international community the truth and set straight their understanding on the issue," said the spokeswoman.

On Sunday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released an article, titled "The Operation of the HYSY 981 Drilling Rig: Vietnam's Provocation and China's Position", on its website, listing evidence that proves the Xisha Islands are part of Chinese territory.

The documents included a declaration issued by the Chinese government on Sept 4, 1958, stating that the breadth of China's territorial waters shall be 12 nautical miles and making it clear that "this provision applies to all the territories of the People's Republic of China, including.... the Xisha Islands."

On Sept. 14 that year, Vietnamese Premier Pham Van Dong sent a diplomatic note to Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, stating that Vietnam "recognizes and supports" China's declaration on its decision concerning China's territorial sea made on Sept. 4, 1958, which was also included in the article.

During Monday's news briefing, Hua also said the Vietnamese side has not yet paid any compensation for the losses of the Chinese side in riots last month following Vietnam's disruptions to the Chinese company's drilling operation.

In mid-May, a series of riots hit foreign companies in southern and central Vietnam, leaving five Chinese nationals dead, around 20 foreign factories burned down and some 1,100 foreign companies affected.

The Chinese side demands the Vietnamese side take concrete and effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese enterprises and citizens in Vietnam, severely punish the perpetrators and compensate the Chinese side for all the losses.

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