China defends gasfield activity in East China Sea

channelnewsasia

 
China and Japan both claim islands in the East China Sea controlled by Japan, which knows them as Senkaku, and regularly send ships to nearby waters to assert their claims. (Photo: AFP/Japan Coast Guard)

BEIJING: China on Wednesday (Aug 2) defended its oil and gas activity in the East China Sea as occurring in areas “indisputably” under its jurisdiction, after Japanese protests stirred a longstanding dispute over the region.

The two countries both claim islands in the East China Sea controlled by Japan, which knows them as Senkaku, and regularly send ships to nearby waters to assert their claims amid repeated diplomatic clashes.

Talks between Tokyo and Beijing begun in June 2008 to cooperate over oil and gas resources in the area broke down two years later amid rising tensions, and have not resumed.

On Tuesday, Japan’s top government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga told reporters it was “extremely regrettable that China is unilaterally continuing its development activity” by stopping mobile drilling ships near the median line separating the two countries’ exclusive economic zones (EEZ).

He added that Japan lodged a protest late last month after noticing the activity but did not specify what exactly the Chinese ships were doing.

“China’s oil and gas activities in the East China Sea are all located in maritime areas indisputably under Chinese jurisdiction,” China’s foreign ministry told AFP in a statement, adding: “The so-called issue of ‘unilateral exploitation’ does not exist.”

 The gas field under the joint development agreement lies in an area where both countries’ EEZs overlap.

Japan says the median line between the two nations should mark the limits of their respective EEZs.

But China insists the border should be drawn closer to Japan, taking into account the continental shelf and other features of the ocean.

China’s foreign ministry said it rejected the idea of a median line between Japan and China, calling it “Japan’s unilateral proposition.”

Chinese drilling ships were last spotted near that line in October 2016, Kyodo News and the Sankei Shimbun daily reported.

So far, China has built 16 drilling platforms on its side near the median line, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

Earlier this year, US President Donald Trump offered reassurances the US would come to Japan’s defence if China were to seize the uninhabited Senkaku islets, which it calls Diaoyu.

fIn a joint statement with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in February, the pair said they “oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands”.

Source: AFP/ec

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This entry was posted in Biển Đông (SCS), China - Japan relationship and tagged , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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