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Vietnam asks China to move oil rig

Chinese media suggests Vietnam is playing the victim card.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   June 23, 2014 at 9:10 AM

HANOI, Vietnam, June 23 (UPI) -- Vietnam's official media reports a request was sent to the Chinese side asking they remove the oil rig positioned in disputed maritime territory.

China in early May dispatched an oil rig to waters claimed by both the Chinese and Vietnamese governments. A second rig was reportedly sent to the region last week.

Both sides have met in Hanoi to discuss the situation, though each side blames the other for the lingering tensions. The official Vietnam News reported Sunday surveillance vessels were still operating within 10-12 nautical miles of the first rig.

"[They] conducted communication actions requesting the Chinese side to withdraw the rig and ships from Vietnamese waters," the Sunday report said.

The report said Chinese vessels positioned around the rig fired water cannons and rammed Vietnamese boats in the region, causing "many" injuries.

Pro-government China Daily published a Sunday editorial suggesting Vietnam was painting itself as the victim in the lingering dispute.

In a Friday briefing with reporters, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said peace and stability in the region is a U.S. national interest.

"If a rig were placed in disputed waters, that would be a concern," she said.

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