Survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 touched off a controversy when it blocked a regional Vietnamese oil exploration project near the Vietnam-controlled Vanguard Bank. Photo: China Geological Survey

The Chinese survey ships that cause ripples in Vietnam and across the South China Sea

  • China’s fleet of 54 oceanic research vessels and their missions are part of the country’s expanding maritime operations
  • Despite their ostensible scientific purpose, they have been accused of intelligence gathering and reconnaissance activity
Topic |   South China Sea

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Survey vessel Haiyang Dizhi 8 touched off a controversy when it blocked a regional Vietnamese oil exploration project near the Vietnam-controlled Vanguard Bank. Photo: China Geological Survey
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Vietnam has deployed oil and gas platforms in the South China Sea, operated by Rosneft. Photo: Reuters

South China Sea: Chinese ship leaves Vietnamese zone, but is it only refuelling?

  • Tracking data suggests Haiyang Dizhi 8 left Vanguard Bank, where tensions flared over apparent harassment of Vietnam’s gas and oil exploration
  • But it sailed only as far as a disputed reef controlled by China
Topic |   South China Sea

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Vietnam has deployed oil and gas platforms in the South China Sea, operated by Rosneft. Photo: Reuters
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