Beijing on Friday rejected Vietnam’s demands that China remove an oil exploration rig from a sea area where the countries are still negotiating a delineation of control.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the oil rig is conducting standard exploratory activities within waters under China’s “undisputed” jurisdiction.
The oil rig was at the centre of a standoff between the countries in 2014 when China parked it near the Paracel Islands, which Vietnam claims as its exclusive economic zone.
The incident sparked deadly riots in Vietnam.
Hong also said the operation of the lighthouse on Subi Reef is a matter falling within China’s sovereignty.
The Vietnamese statement came just days after the country’s legislature swore in new Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who has vowed to defend Vietnam’s sovereignty.
China’s Foreign Ministry also responded to a report by the United States government citing Chinese Internet controls as a trade barrier.
The report came as Beijing tried to block its public from seeing news online about the finances of leaders’ families.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Beijing welcomes foreign investment and protects the rights of foreign companies.
Story by the Associated Press.