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Vietnam, China: Hanoi Stands Up to Beijing on Drilling in the South China Sea

Jul 25, 2019 | 19:42 GMT

A quiet standoff has been brewing in the South China Sea since May over a joint energy exploration effort between Vietnam and Japan around the energy-rich Vanguard Bank in waters that both Hanoi and Beijing claim as their own. The potential for the dispute to grow louder, however, is increasing. On July 25, Vietnam announced it would allow a Japanese exploratory oil rig to continue operations in waters it and China each claim beyond an originally planned completion date of July 30. The decision came after Beijing reportedly asked Vietnam to withdraw the rig in exchange for China withdrawing the survey ship it sent into the region, along with its accompanying flotilla of coast guard and other vessels. Social media reports suggest that Vietnam would deploy more ships to the area. Hanoi's defiance of Chinese wishes creates a situation ripe for escalation....

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