China is consolidating its newfound authority over the international South China Sea by declaring it controls international waters off the coast of independent Vietnam.
“India’s intention to once again explore for oil in the disputed waters of the South China Sea is an unwise move, as it will further complicate the maritime disputes and do a disservice to maintaining the positive momentum that has been achieved in China-India ties,” declared the state-run China Daily, as translated by the Times of India.
“The Indian company should be told: Without the permission from the Chinese government, activities conducted by any foreign company in these disputed waters are illegal,” the editorial continued. The search is “illegal,” said China’s government. The Indian-owned oil company should “rethink its oil exploration plans,” China threatened.
Actually, India’s oil “exploration” is in partnership with Vietnam and has progressed far enough for the Indians to begin preparations for moving an oil platform into the area. Want China Times of Taiwan notes that the deal between an Indian company and Vietnam’s state-run PetroVietnam was signed three years before China opened international bidding on exploration of the waters under its control.