World News

Vietnam Deputy PM: Eyeing Philippine arbitration case as mulls options in China row

TOKYO (Reuters) - Vietnam wants a peaceful settlement to a territorial row with China that flared up after Beijing deployed an oil rig to disputed waters in the South China Sea, and is closely following a case brought by the Philippines to an arbitration tribunal in The Hague in a separate maritime row with China, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said on Thursday.

In an interview with Reuters, Dam repeated Hanoi’s demand that China withdraw the oil rig from waters that Vietnam considers its own, but said Vietnam was not setting a deadline for meeting its demand.

“Like in any dialogue ... we do not raise the question of a deadline,” said Dam, who is in Japan to attend a conference on the future of Asia.

Dam also said Hanoi was committed to taking any steps needed to protect the interests of foreign investors and businesses after a flare-up of anti-Chinese violence last week sparked by Chinese state oil company CNOOC’s deployment of the oil rig 240 km (150 miles) off the coast of Vietnam.

Beijing’s move was the latest confrontation between China and some of its neighbours over the potentially oil-and-gas rich South China Sea.

Reporting by Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim