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Expert: Vietnam military drill only aggravates tension

06-14-2011 19:05 BJT

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The Vietnamese Navy held a live fire drill throughout Monday, bringing recent tension with China to a new high. Chinese experts denounced the exercises and said they will only aggravate the situation.

Booming waters in the South China Sea.

The naval exercises were held about 250 km from Xisha island, and 1000 km from Nansha island. It's thought to be the most severe in recent bouts of tension.

Last week, Chinese fishing boats were chased away, then dragged for more than one hour by an Vietnamese oil exploration vessel illegally operating in the Vanguard Bank of Nansha island.

In a similar incident last month, Vietnam accused China of cutting the cables of an oil surveying ship.

Disputes over the sovereignty of Nansha island have been a long-standing source of tension. The area is rich in oil and gas deposits, and contains strategically important trade routes. But experts say, the pursuit of profits is not the only reason behind Vietnam's recent military maneuvers, a series of factors is at play.

Rong Ying, Vice President of China Institute of International Studies said "Some countries, thought that China, given its rise, and its capabilities, will not be competed with China in the future...another factor is the extra-regional power, or intervention."

US secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last July the US has a "national interest" in the South China Sea issue. Rong believes, despite the comments being a year old, they complicate the issue.

Rong Ying said "China will continue to pursue its policy, and hopefully work with the concerned countries. China has made it clear that it opposes internationalization of the issue..."

Rong warned shows of force only serve to raise tensions further. He suggested all parties stick to a 2002 Declaration emphasizing peaceful settlement of the dispute through bilateral talks.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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