China Ships Enter Vietnamese Waters Near Russian Gas Blocks

A Chinese research ship, escorted by five Chinese Coast Guard vessels, navigated waters in part of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) Friday after being asked to leave by Vietnam the previous day.

Reuters reported Friday that the Chinese research and survey vessel Xiang Yang Hong 10 navigated close to gas blocks operated by Russian companies in the South China Sea while being flanked by five Chinese Coast Guard ships a day after Vietnam asked the ships to leave the area.

“The Chinese vessel Xiang Yang Hong 10 began operating in Vietnam’s EEZ on May 7, representing the most significant incursion since 2019,” Ray Powell, who leads Stanford University’s Project Myoushu on the South China Sea, told Reuters, calling the situation a “worrying escalation.”

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