First came the diplomatic offensive, then the flexing of military muscle.
Now, China is opening a third front to assert its claims in the South China Sea—moving ahead with its first major tender of oil and gas blocks in disputed parts of its waters.
China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), a state oil giant, invited foreign firms in late June to bid on oil blocks that overlap territory being explored by Vietnam, putting the 160,000 sq km of water on offer at the forefront of Asia's biggest potential military flashpoint.
Oil companies have until next June to decide whether to bid for the nine blocks, said a Chinese industry source with knowledge of the matter. . .View Full Article