CHINA WILL REACT
Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed not to stir up trouble in the South China Sea but said China would react "in the necessary way" to provocations by other countries, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The comments come at a time of deep tension between China and Vietnam over Beijing's decision in early May to move an oil rig into disputed waters between the Paracel islands and the Vietnamese coast.
Days after China deployed the rig, the Philippines accused Beijing of reclaiming land on a disputed reef in the Spratlys to build what would be its first airstrip in the South China Sea.
"We will never stir up trouble, but will react in the necessary way to the provocations of countries involved," Xinhua quoted Xi late on Friday as saying in a meeting with Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, which is also embroiled in a long-running maritime dispute with China.
Brunei and Taiwan also claim parts of the potentially oil- and gas-rich South China Sea.
China has become increasingly willing and able to assert its claims over disputed waters, causing concern among the other parties to the disputes, analysts say.
The decision to deploy the oil rig enraged Vietnam and sparked anti-China rioting. Scores of Vietnamese and Chinese ships continue to square off around the rig and a Vietnamese boat sank this week after a collision that both sides blamed on the other.
Xi told Najib the situation in the South China Sea was "stable in general, but signs deserving our attention have also emerged".
China and Malaysia should "work together to strengthen dialogue and communication, advance maritime cooperation and joint development to maintain peace and stability on the South China Sea", Xinhua quoted him as saying.
Southeast Asian nations with maritime claims have been slow to band together against China, but last week Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Philippine President Benigno Aquino made a rare joint denunciation of China.
To try to keep pressure on Beijing, diplomats said Vietnam might host a meeting with Philippine and Malaysian officials at the end of the month to discuss how to respond to China.
A senior Malaysian diplomatic source told Reuters two weeks ago that China's assertiveness had given momentum to the three-way talks and "brought us together", but he played down the discussions as little more than "chit chat" at this stage.
|July, 16, 11:05:00|
|July, 16, 11:00:00|
|July, 16, 10:55:00|
|July, 16, 10:50:00|
|July, 16, 10:45:00|
|July, 16, 10:40:00|
AN - China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) is willing to invest $3 billion in its existing oil and gas operation in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Sunday following a meeting with the Chinese in Abuja.
REUTERS - Production at Libya’s giant Sharara oil field was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Saturday after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.
IMF - Output grew by 3.8 percent in 2017, underpinned by a resilient non-hydrocarbon sector, with robust implementation of GCC-funded projects as well as strong activity in the financial, hospitality, and education sectors. The banking system remains stable with large capital buffers. Growth is projected to decelerate over the medium term.
IMF - Higher oil prices and short-term portfolio inflows have provided relief from external and fiscal pressures but the recovery remains challenging. Inflation declined to its lowest level in more than two years. Real GDP expanded by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of last year. However, activity in the non-oil non-agricultural sector remains weak as lower purchasing power weighs on consumer demand and as credit risk continues to limit bank lending.