Oil Rig Withdrawn From Disputed Waters. A Sign Xi Jinping Is In Control?
China has moved oil rig, Haiyang Shiyou 981, away from disputed waters off Vietnam. This drilling rig near the Paracel Islands has aroused tension in the two countries for more than two months. The sudden move triggered hot discussion. Commentators say that China had previously towed the US$1 billion rig to the Paracel Islands, to meet the need for seizing military power internally to curry favor with the War Hawks in the military, and divert attention from domestic conflict. Now the process of securing military power has ended, it becomes unnecessary to keep the oil rig in disputed waters.
On July 15, the oil rig reportedly returned to the Hainan Islands area. The move is one month ahead of the mid-August schedule. China’s Foreign Ministry said it was because the typhoon season begins soon. The rig has finished drilling and the move had “no relation to any outside factor”.
The Vietnamese coastguard said they would stay in the area to closely observe the situation.
Lan Shu, current affairs commentator: “The reason for moving away from the South Sea, is because the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) internal struggles over seizing military power have finished. The main reason the CCP created the previous tension was to curry favor with military War Hawks. In reality, the CCP neither wanted to fight, nor lacked oilfields. Even had they drilled the oil out of disputed waters, could they send the oil home?”
Lan Shu says that so far clearing out Jiang Zemin’s allies from the military is almost completed. Not long ago, Xu Caihou, a Jiang faction member who controlled the military, was purged. Another military head Guo Boxiong is held in Qincheng Prison for corruption.
On July 10, US Senate approved Resolution 412. It “calls on China to withdraw its Haiyang Shiyou 981 drilling rig and associated maritime forces from their current positions,” And return to the South Sea’s original status. It “urges China to refrain from implementing the declared East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone”.
Some netizens and media believe that the CCP has bowed to the US.
The South Sea dispute didn’t happen recently, so why did the CCP keep silent in the past? Yet while the anti-corruption was vigorously carried out, the South Sea conflict suddenly became louder, who has deliberately provoked the events? A netizen says that any time when the corrupt CCP group was focused on, international disputes would be created accordingly.
China-based writer Jing Chu: “Some netizens speculated that the rig being moved into sensitive areas, was a Jiang faction attempt to create embarrassment for Xi Jinping. Moving away from the areas, is likely because Xi Jinping thought Jiang’s faction went too far. Because the CCP army is for suppressing civilians, and to protect the CCP. Once they faced real enemies, they would panic.”
The state run media reported that on June 6, 63 Vietnamese vessels arrived in the disputed waters. They broke into China’s area and clashed with Chinese boats 1,416 times.
In mid-May, because the oil rig crossed the Vietnamese border, several thousands of Vietnamese smashed, looted and burnt Taiwanese and Chinese companies based in Vietnam. It caused 300 Chinese and Taiwanese casualties and serious damage to property.
Sources say that before the oil rig was moved, the Philippines was planning to join Vietnam to fight to death with the CCP in the South Sea. Vietnam was seeking US help.
Professor Ding Shufan, Taiwan College of International Affairs: “The CCP always thought it could suppress an opponent. But regarding this affair, it is uneasy. The Philippines, Vietnam and Japan had brought many problems to China. If suppression didn’t work, the CCP would use soft methods, at least in this way, its neighboring countries wouldn’t be completely against it.”
China Petroluem Daily cited a Vietnamese scholar that withdrawing the oil rig was “under Vietnamese People’s Army deterrent effect.”
Le Haibinh, spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said that Vietnam had requested China not to bring Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig and other rigs into Vietnam’s Gas Zone -143 or into any Vietnam waters.