Vietnam China Anger

Vietnamese protesters hold banners during a protest rally against China in Ho Chi Minh last month. Pic: AP.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Vietnam’s U.N. ambassador is urging China to withdraw its oil rig and more than 100 ships from the South China Sea to create “an environment” for negotiations on the disputed waters which it maintains are part of its exclusive economic zone.

But Ambassador Le Hoai Trung said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press that China refuses to engage in dialogue and insists there is no dispute because the waters around the rig belongs to China.

Both Vietnam and China have taken the dispute over the rig to the United Nations, circulating rival documents to the U.N. General Assembly’s 193 member states.

China deployed the rig on May 1, provoking a confrontation with Vietnamese ships, complaints from Hanoi, and street protests that turned into bloody anti-Chinese riots.

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