Do Van Hau, general director of PetroVietnam, said at a press briefing Wednesday that China has violated Vietnam's sovereignty by calling for bids to explore for oil in its territory in the East Sea.
The Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group has demanded that China National Offshore Oil Corporation stop calling for bids to explore for oil and gas in Vietnamese territorial waters in the East Sea, and called on foreign companies not to take part in the project.
Do Van Hau, general director of the group --known commonly as PetroVietnam -- said at a press briefing Wednesday that CNOOC had called last week for bids to prospect more than 160 square kilometers in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone.
The Chinese group has announced plans to explore nine blocks that overlap four blocks PetroVietnam is already working.
"This is totally not a disputed area," Hau said.
China's bid invitation is "wrong, invalid, and against the 1982 International Convention of the Sea and international oil drilling regulations," he said.
"The action severely affected Vietnam's national interests and added tension to the East Sea dispute.
"PetroVietnam strongly opposes [this move] and demands that the CNOOC cancel the bid invitation immediately."
PetroVietnam appreciates cooperation with Chinese companies but they have to respect Vietnam's sovereignty, international laws, and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea that China has signed, he said.
He urged global oil companies not to take part in the bidding.
A map at the press briefing shows nine petrol blocks that China has invited bidding for exploration are located within Vietnam's exclusive economic zone.
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