Vietnam confirms China ship leaves its waters, ending month-long standoff

HANOI (Reuters) - A Chinese survey ship embroiled in a tense month-long standoff with Vietnamese vessels has left Vietnam’s continental shelf, the Southeast Asian nation’s foreign ministry confirmed on Thursday.

Late on Wednesday, Reuters reported that the Haiyang Dizhi 8 vessel, operated by the China Geological Survey, had headed away from Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

“In the afternoon of August 7, the Haiyang Dizhi 8 survey vessel stopped its survey activities and left Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone and southeastern continental shelf,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang told a regular news conference.

Vietnamese authorities would continue to monitor the location of Chinese vessels in the area, Hang added.

Since early July, Vietnamese ships had been closely tracking Chinese vessels operating in the EEZ, the latest confrontation in waters that are a potential global flashpoint as the United States challenges China’s sweeping maritime claims.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Writing by James Pearson; Editing by Clarence Fernandez