Beijing blamed Vietnam for a bitter stand-off in the South China Sea that started on Saturday as China stakes out waters in the region for oil production, Financial Times reported, citing a statement by a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official at a press conference on Thursday. Yi Xianliang, the deputy director-general of the ministry’s department of boundary and ocean affairs, accused Hanoi of “harassing” a Chinese oil rig towed into disputed waters in the South China Sea, claiming that Vietnamese vessels had “interfered” with Chinese ships 171 times since last Saturday. The US earlier called China’s deployment of the rig “provocative.”
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