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Vietnam protests Chinese oil rig in disputed sea

HANOI, Vietnam >> Vietnam has protested China’s decision to send an oil drilling platform to a disputed area of the South China Sea.

The move by Beijing is the latest in a series of provocative actions in the waters that have raised tensions with Southeast Asian countries and drawn the attention of the United States.

According to the China Maritime Safety Administration, the deep see rig CNOOC 981 would be drilling in the South China Sea from May 4 to Aug. 15, and that entering a 3 mile radius around the area is prohibited.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry on Monday said the area was well within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and China’s act was “illegal.”

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