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India won’t back off from South China Sea

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 12:30

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Despite China taking strong exception to India’s plan to explore oil in South China Sea, New Delhi has indicated that it won’t back off.

Sources told Zee News, Wednesday, that the government will not halt its oil exploration programme in the blocks claimed by Vietnam in the South China Sea. Importantly, the government, at the same time, also is not favour of blowing the matter out of proportion.

China on Monday raised its pitch saying any exploration activity in its coast would amount to "infringement" of its sovereignty.

"China enjoys indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and our position is based on full historical and jurisprudential evidence," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Hong Lei said.

"Any country engaged in oil and gas exploration activities in this jurisdiction without the approval of the Chinese government constitutes an infringement upon China`s sovereignty and national interest and are therefore illegal and invalid," he said.

India had earlier rebuffed China’s objection to oil exploration saying its cooperation with Vietnam was as per international laws and it would like the cooperation to grow.

New Delhi said it "supports freedom of navigation in South China Sea and hopes that all parties to the dispute would abide by the 2002 declaration of conduct in South China Sea."

Importantly, China’s biggest neighbourhood rival, Japan, has backed India on its oil hunt favouring greater interaction between Indian and Japanese navies.

First Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 12:30
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