Beijing: Chinese media on Tuesday accused Vietnam of stealing China`s "resources" in the resource-rich South China Sea with the help of a "third country".
"Compared with other countries, Vietnam is the boldest in exploring for oil in the South China Sea," state-run Global Times said in an editorial today.
Without naming India`s ONGC which had earlier been offered a block for oil exploration by Vietnam, the editorial said "through cooperation with oil companies from a third country, Vietnam is constantly seeking to expand offshore oil and gas businesses within the nine-dash line."
Nine-dash line represents China`s "territory" in the disputed sea.
"It may have already forgotten that it has been stealing resources".
China in the past protested over ONGC`s drilling operations.
"China is more determined than ever when it comes to protecting its sovereignty. Vietnam must rein in its behaviour, which will only benefit its long-term interest," the editorial said and accused both Vietnam and Philippines of whipping up disputes with China on the South China Sea.
"But it is certain that China won`t just stand by when confronted with these moves by Vietnam and the Philippines.
"Vietnam and the Philippines often expect China to step back under the so-called international pressure. However, they have to understand that it is Chinese public opinion that matters the most. Safeguarding China`s sovereignty is the universal will of the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens," it said.
"Vietnam and the Philippines should give up their illusions of offsetting China`s advantages with strength. Although the political environment in the South China Sea has become complex due to US interference, the region is definitely a place where political magic tricks can be performed. China will not be at a loss because of a few diplomatic moves in this area," it said.