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China objects to Vietnam's call for Indian investment in South China Sea

China has been opposing India's ONGC exploring oil in wells claimed by Vietnam in the South China Sea for years

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

South China Sea (Photo: Reuters)
South China Sea

on Thursday objected to Vietnam's invitation to India to invest in oil and natural gas sector in the disputed South Sea, saying it is firmly opposed to infringement of its rights using development of bilateral ties as an "excuse".

Vietnam's Ambassador to India Ton Sinh Thanh on Tuesday had told an Indian channel that his country would welcome Indian investments in the South Sea.

Responding to remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said: "China does not object to the development of normal bilateral relations of relevant countries in our neighbourhood".

"But China firmly oppose relevant party to use it as an excuse to infringe upon China's legitimate rights and interests in the and impair regional peace and stability," Lu said.

Ton had also said defence cooperation is one of the important and effective areas of cooperation between India and and India can be helpful in expanding Vietnams defence capabilities.

China has been opposing India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) exploring oil in wells claimed by in the (SCS) for years. India has been asserting that the ONGC's exploration is a commercial operation and not connected with the dispute.

China claims almost all of the SCS while Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.

Oil exploration in the SCS is a sensitive issue in the Vietnam-China relations. There were anti-China riots in when China tried to deploy oil rigs in an areas claimed by Vietnam few years ago.

India, which is ramping up ties with Vietnam, calls for freedom of navigation in the SCS through which trillions of dollars of trade happens every year.

First Published: Fri, January 12 2018. 02:27 IST