Published: Tue, March 27, 2018
Finance | By Cynthia Curry

Vietnam Scraps South China Sea Oil Drilling Project

Vietnam Scraps South China Sea Oil Drilling Project

The latest "freedom of navigation" operation comes a day after US President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum that would impose a tariff of up to $60 billion on Chinese imports.

The US military has a longstanding position that its operations are carried out throughout the world, including in areas claimed by allies, and they are separate from political considerations.

The U.S. Navy conducts regular Freedom of Navigation operations in the region with the unstated goal of challenging China's huge, disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Beijing demands an end to U.S. "provocations actions which violate the sovereignty of the People's Republic and pose a serious threat to its security, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said in Beijing".

Britain last month said one of its warships would pass through the South China Sea to assert freedom-of-navigation rights.

Such actions cause forces from both countries to come into close proximity and could easily cause a misjudgment or accident, and create serious political and military provocation for China, the ministry said.

China dispatched military vessels to the area and warned the USA ship to leave.

The Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang warned that continued USA patrols in the waterway "harm military relations between the two countries, causing close encounters between the countries' air forces and navies, which could lead to misjudgment and even accidents". "The Chinese military is firmly opposed to it".

Arrests as English football fans flock to Amsterdam red light district
The flare-ups in Amsterdam come a year after despicable scenes marred England's friendly against Germany in Dortmund. England manager Gareth Southgate has said he was disappointed to hear about the trouble with the fans.

The U.S. has repeatedly objected to Beijing's expansion in the region and its building of artificial islands with military facilities, and insisted on freedom of navigation in the South China Sea's waters.

A news report of the US navy's mission came on the same day that the Chinese navy was supposed to carry out combat drills on the South China Sea.

China said the USS Mustin, a guided-missile destroyer, entered the contentious waters Friday and was "warned off" by two Chinese ships.

"The goal is to test and improve the training level of the troops and comprehensively improve the ability to win", state media said.

It would be the second time in less than a year that Vietnam has had to cancel a major oil development in the busy South China Sea waterway under pressure from China.

The Spanish operator has been told by state-owned PetroVietnam to suspend the field scheme - translated as Red Emperor - off the country's south-east coast just as it was about to mobilise a rig to kick off commercial drilling work, the BBC reported, citing a well-placed industry source.

The announcement came after Taiwan's Defense Ministry said Wednesday that it had dispatched jets and ships to shadow a Chinese aircraft carrier group that sailed through the Taiwan Strait in a southwesterly direction, apparently into the South China Sea.

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