Vietnamese protest outside the Chinese Embassy in May. Pic: AP.

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Chinese state media say that drilling and exploration operations at an oil rig Beijing deployed in a section of the South China Sea disputed with Vietnam have ended and that the rig will be relocated.

The rig was deployed in early May close to the Paracel Islands, triggering a furious reaction in Hanoi, which sent ships to try to disrupt its operations.

Xinhua said China National Petroleum Corp on Tuesday announced the end of the operation, citing the beginning of the typhoon season.

It said the company was assessing the data gathered during the drilling.

The placement of the rig was seen as a highly provocative move by China, which it claims nearly all of the South China Sea, bringing it into conflict with Vietnam, the Philippines and other nations.

Subscribe to Asian Correspondent

Receive our weekly round-up of the most important stories in Asia

We will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.