Amidst China’s ongoing standoff with the Philippines over contested waters in the South China Sea, production of its first deep water oil drill will start on Wednesday. The China National Offshore Oil Corp will be stationed 320 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong and will drill at a depth of 1,500 meters, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
China’s Foreign Ministry recently complained to a top diplomat from the Philippines about the standoff. Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying, in dialogue with the Philippines’ chargée d’affaires, Alex Chua, expressed his hope that the Philippines would not misjudge the situation and escalate tensions.
The Scarborough Shoal lies southeast of the Chinese oil rig. The dispute started in April 10 when Chinese fishing vessels were accused of illegal fishing in the area. China and Philippines are the prominent claimants. China claims the entire South China Sea based on historical records.