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Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue's Comment on Vietnam's Invitation of Public Bidding on Oil and Gas Exploitation in the South China Sea
2004-10-21

Q: Recently, PetroVietnam unilaterally invited public bidding on oil and gas exploitation in some of the controversial waters of the South China Sea. Some international petroleum companies have expressed interest in the bidding. What's China's comment on that?

A: As is known to all, China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters. The above action by the Vietnamese side constitutes an infringement upon China's sovereign rights and maritime rights and interests. The Chinese side feels seriously concerned and strongly dissatisfied with its above action and has lodged a representation to the Vietnamese side.

We hope that the Vietnamese side would correct its wrong conduct as soon as possible by faithfully abiding by the consensus reached by both sides and the objectives and principles of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. It should cease to adopt any unilaterally action that would complicate or give further rise to expand the disputes, and work together with countries concerned in the area to maintain the peace and stability of the South China Sea area with practical action.

At the same time, we also hope that relavant international petroleum companies would truly respect the solemn stance of the Chinese Government on this issue and cease to do anything that would impair China's sovereign rights and maritime rights and interests.

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