By Ben Bland in Hanoi and Jamil Anderlini in Beijing, Oct 16, 2011 –
China has warned India to halt joint energy projects with Vietnam in the South China Sea even as Beijing takes steps to reduce tensions with Hanoi and co-operate more closely in oil and gas exploration in the disputed waters.
In a joint statement issued on Saturday at the conclusion of a high-profile visit to China by Nguyen Phu Trong, the head of Vietnam’s ruling Communist party, Beijing and Hanoi said they would “actively boost co-operation” in offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation as well as speed up negotiations to find a peaceful settlement to their long-running dispute.
But Beijing also publicly castigated Hanoi and New Delhi for an agreement in which India’s state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp will work with its counterpart PetroVietnam to develop oil and gas assets in parts of the South China Sea that Vietnam claims as its territory. . . .