China removes controversial oil rig
Iran Press TV
Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:45AM GMT
A Chinese petroleum firm has announced that an oil rig that had caused a major diplomatic row with Vietnam over drilling in disputed waters has finished its work and is being removed.
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said in a Wednesday statement that it would now assess the data collected by the oil rig.
"Signs of oil and gas were found in the operation," Xinhua quoted the statement as saying, adding that the CNPC "will assess the data collected and decide on the next step."
In early May, China moved its Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig into South China Sea waters west of the disputed Paracel Islands, claimed by both Vietnam and China.
At the time, the US also protested the action as "provocative" and "aggressive."
Government ships from China and Vietnam then clashed in the disputed area on several occasions, bumping and exchanging water cannon fire as Vietnam sought to block Chinese drilling operations.
Vietnam also saw three days of anti-China unrest, during which angry workers targeted foreign-owned factories in some areas, leaving at least two people dead and dozens injured. Several factories were reportedly burned down or damaged.
Both China and Vietnam claim the Paracel islands. They fought a brief but bloody war over the islands in 1974.
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