Vietnam is accusing China of causing new tensions over disputed islands in the sea whose name the countries do not even agree about — the South China Sea or East Sea, depending on your mapmaker. In the latest incident, Chinese patrol boats were accused of severing a four-mile-long siesmic survey cable a Vietnamese oil exploration ship was laying in waters that both countries claim.
The Vietnamese government says its navy will do whatever is necessary to protect Vietnam’s sovereignty. China says its actions were justified and blames Vietnam for creating new incidents.
Tensions between China and Vietnam have increased over the past two years, causing more anxiety in the entire Southeast Asian region — and as far away as Washington — about China’s growing economic and military power.
More about Vietnam-China territorial dispute heating up