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Stay AWAY from South China Sea: China to Russia

April 10, 2012 18:33 IST

After its spat with India over the oil exploration in blocs claimed by Vietnam in the disputed South China Sea, China on Tuesday asked Russia to stay away from taking up similar operation at the invitation of Hanoi.

Asked about reports that Vietnam and Russian companies inked a deal for oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Liu  Weimin told a media briefing that countries that were not concerned with the dispute should stay away. "China's enjoys indisputable sovereignty over SCS. We hope the disputes can be solved through negotiations by countries concerned", he said.

"We hope the parties concerned can reach half way and avoid having countries outside the region get involved in the dispute", he added.

At the same, China also hopes that companies from countries outside the SCS region could avoid getting involved in disputes in the region, he said. Reaffirming China's indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters, Liu said China was committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes through direct negotiation and friendly consultation with countries concerned based on respect for historical facts and international law.

Similar remarks were made last year by China about Oil and Natural Gas Corporation taking oil exploration in the blocs claimed by Vietnam.

Taking strong exception, China has asked India to stop taking up such activity, which New Delhi brushed aside asserting that its cooperation with Hanoi is under the international law.

China had also reacted to External Affairs Minister, S M Krishna's statement few days ago that "SCS is the property of the world and those trade-ways must be free from any national interference".

China said that despite disputes, the navigation in the area was never disrupted.

K J M Varma in Beijing
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