Tension between Vietnam and China over a disputed area of the South China Sea continued Tuesday with the Vietnamese side accusing a Chinese coast guard ship of firing water cannon at a Vietnamese ship, the previous day. The incident occurred, about seven nautical miles south of a giant deep-water drilling rig installed by China earlier this month near one of the disputed Paracel Islands, in an area Vietnam regards as its exclusive economic zone.


 In 1974, the naval forces of China and what was then South Vietnam fought a sea battle that left the Chinese side in control of the Paracel Islands, which are controlled by Beijing but claimed by Vietnam,

while five years later, Vietnam and China fought a brief but bloody land war. They normalized relations in 1991.

It is a dispute over territory and sovereignty over ocean areas and the Paracels and the Spratlys. Both the Philippines and China lay claim to the Scarborough Shoal .The Paracels and the Spratlys may have reserves of natural resources around them. There has been little detailed exploration of the area, so estimates are largely extrapolated from the mineral wealth of neighbouring areas. The sea is also a major shipping route and home to fishing grounds that supply the livelihoods of people across the region. In July 2012 China formally created Sansha city, an administrative body with its headquarters in the Paracels which it says oversees Chinese territory in the South China Sea – including the Paracels and the Spratlys. Both Vietnam and the Philippines protested against this move. In May 2014, the introduction by China of a drilling rig into waters near the Paracel Islands led to multiple collisions between Vietnamese and China ships.



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