US Again Patrols Near Chinese Survey Ship In South China Sea

Sandra Loyd

An American Navy combat ship today carried out “routine operations” near a Chinese geological survey ship in the South China Sea, U.S. authorities stated, after the Chinese vessel in June went into a location where Vietnam has actually revealed interest in checking out for oil.

The maneuvers in waters around the Spratly Islands echoed occasions off the north coast of Malaysian Borneo in April, when a Chinese survey vessel and a fleet of China Coast Guard (CCG) ships watched Malaysian oil expedition efforts, in an obvious quote to prevent the smaller sized country from making use of resources in the contested waters. That occurrence triggered the U.S. Navy to send out littoral combat ships near the website of the survey on 3 events.

The U.S. Seventh Fleet on Thursday tweeted that the USS Gabrielle Giffords was carrying out “routine ops” in the South China Sea, and released a picture revealing the littoral combat ship near a Chinese ship, which the post recognized as the Hai Yang Di Zhi 4 Hao. In another image launched by the navy, a ship that appears to come from the Vietnamese coast guard shows up together with the Giffords and the Hai Yang 4.

In mid-June, the survey ship cruised into waters in Vietnam’s unique financial zone (EEZ), in an obvious quote to pressure Hanoi out of checking out for oil with international partners in specific oil obstructs off the nation’s southeastern coast.

The ship left on June 20, however vessel tracking software application utilized by RFA and its affiliate BenarNews shows that the Hai Yang 4 was approximately 205 nautical miles (330 km) from Vietnam’s coast on Tuesday– the last day it was transferring its place.

China is understood for sending out survey ships into contested waters or other complaintants’ unique financial zones to press those countries out of resource expedition.

From April 15 to May 15, China sent out the Hai Yang 8– a sibling ship to the Hai Yang 4– into Malaysia’s EEZ, together with an escort fleet of Chinese coast-guard ships. The Hai Yang 8 carried out a survey well-within Malaysian waters, and right near a Malaysian-contracted drillship called the West Capella, which was checking out for oil there.

That occurrence caused the U.S. Navy releasing combat ships near the location a minimum of 3 times.

“The Chinese Communist Party must end its pattern of bullying Southeast Asians out of offshore oil, gas, and fisheries. Millions of people in the region depend on those resources for their livelihood,” stated Adm. John Aquilino in a press release on one such celebration.

The West Capella suspended its operations early on May 12, and the Hai Yang 8 left soon after.

China preserves that any resource expedition in the South China Sea, which Beijing declares nearly completely, need to be finished with Chinese partners rather of international business. Beijing has actually likewise taken this position throughout settlements with the Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) to develop a Standard procedure for governing habits in the sea’s contested waters.

On June 13, Spanish business Repsol delivered its stakes in 3 Vietnamese oil obstructs to the state-run oil business, PetroVietnam, mentioning its failure to work under conditions of a territorial dispute, according to Archyde, a Spanish oil and gas blog site. Repsol stopped operate in those blocks in 2018 due to Chinese pressure.

2 days previously, Vietnamese state media revealed that U.S. business ExxonMobil would buy Vietnam’s energy sector, after a telephone call in between Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and ExxonMobil senior executive Irtiza Sayyed. Daniel Kritenbrink, the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam apparently told VnExpress on June 23 that the U.S. would support industrial energy tasks in between U.S. business and Vietnam.

Extra r eporting and modifying by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.

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