BEIJING – Terming the South China Sea as a disputed region, China has warned India to refrain from undertaking oil exploration in the resource-rich Vietnamese blocks in order to ensure “peace and stability” in the area. “The area is disputed one. So we do not think that it would be good for India to do (explore oil) that,” Deputy Director General of Asian Department in Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sun Weidong said.
Asking New Delhi not to get involved in the “disputes”, the top Chinese Foreign Ministry official said the sovereignty of the islands in the region was a major issue and India should not carry out oil exploration till resolution of the vexed issue.
“We want common development in the region. We hope Indian side is not involved in those disputes. We hope India would do more to ensure peace and security in the region,” Sun told a group of visiting Indian journalists here.
When reminded about commercial nature of India’s oil exploration in the region having huge oil and gas reserves, Sun said the issue was “very complicated” and China was trying its best to find a peaceful solution to the problem.
Asked why China was objecting to India’s exploration projects in the Vietnamese oil blocs when Chinese companies were involved in carrying out infrastructure projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), the top official in-charge of India affairs said both the issues are “totally different”.