Wang Min, China's deputy envoy to the United Nations, sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Beijing's stance on a dispute simmering since early May, when state-run China National Offshore Oil Corp. started drilling operations near the Xisha Islands.
"China sent the note to tell the international community the truth and set straight their understanding on the issue," Wang said in a statement Monday.
Both sides have accused the other of acting as the aggressor in the situation. The Vietnamese government has said it has the right to defend its national interests, while Beijing accuses its rivals of violating international maritime laws.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a paper Sunday saying drilling operations in the region are part of a "routine" exploration program. The deputy envoy noted Beijing was interested in a peaceful resolution.
"China will continue its effort to communicate with Vietnam with a view to properly addressing the current situation," he said.