'ONGC's pull-out from S China Sea to benefit Sino-India ties'

'ONGC's pull-out from S China Sea to benefit Sino-India ties'

 India's decision to pullout from certain oil blocks claimed by Vietnam in the South China Sea will benefit Sino-India ties in the long run, a Chinese expert on South Asian issues has said.

"At the current stage amid tensions between China and the Philippines, India's non-involvement in the South China Sea would be beneficial to both the regional security and long-term Sino-Indian relations", Fu Xiaoqiang, an expert on South Asian issues at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations told official daily 'Global Times'.

This is the first time the Chinese media carried the decision of the ONGC Videsh to pull-out from certain oil blocs.

China claims that most of the South China Sea and the islands are its own and came in conflict with Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan who assert that Beijing's stand overrides their right to have 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zones(EEZ).
China had raised objections to Indian oil exploration projects in the region.

India brushed off the objections saying that it was a commercial contract taken up as per the norms of the international law of seas.

Asked how he sees ONGC's move to pullout from the region, Fu said it can "hardly" be said that the decision was due to pressure from China.

"China has always held a firm stance on the South China Sea issue, so it can hardly be said that India is under pressure from the Chinese government this time despite the fact that India will take the China factor into account considering its global and regional presence," he said.

The global arm of state-owned ONGC has cited "techno- commercial considerations" for pulling out of the Block 128 in Vietnamese waters, as the establishment seems to be disinterested in continuing the project which was not "economically viable".

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