U.S.: China Is Blocking Trillions in Oil & Gas, Will Send Navy for Drills

U.S.: China Is Blocking Trillions in Oil & Gas, Will Send Navy for Drills
U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Kaila Peters

The United States has accused China of preventing Southeast Asian countries from accessing trillions of dollars worth of untapped oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea as the Pentagon planned to hold its first exercise with regional powers near the strategic region.

In a press statement, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said Thursday that the "United States is deeply concerned that China is continuing its interference with Vietnam's longstanding oil and gas activities in Vietnam's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) claim" following recent incursions there by Chinese survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 and an armed escort. Beijing has laid vast claims to the South China Sea and does not recognize boundaries established there by a number of Southeast Asian nations who are supported by the U.S.

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