China says oil rig in contested waters not moved due to "outside factors"

BEIJING, July 16 Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:34am EDT

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BEIJING, July 16 (Reuters) - China said on Wednesday that the movement of an oil rig in waters disputed with Vietnam in the South China Sea was not due to "outside factors".

The movement of the oil rig was in accordance with commercial plans and had "no relation to any outside factors", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted to its website.

Vietnam on Wednesday demanded that China avoid sending any oil rigs into its territory, after one of the Asian giant's oil rigs finished drilling near the disputed Paracel islands in the South China Sea and was moved towards a southern Chinese province.

(Reporting by Michael Martina)