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17

Chinese Insist Chunxiao Field is Within National Boundaries

CNOOC told Interfax today that the Chunxiao gas field it is developing in the East China Sea lies within the Chinese border

China's state-owned oil company, CNOOC, told Interfax today that the Chunxiao gas field it is developing in the East China Sea lies within the Chinese border even according to the demarcations accepted by Japan, which have been disputed by China.

"The Chunxiao gas field does not cross the borderline even if the Japanese method of demarcation is adopted. There is still several kilometers in distance," said CNOOC spokesman Liu Jingshan in a telephone interview.

"Besides, we have never accepted the legitimacy of the Japanese demarcation," said Liu.

Chunxiao, jointly developed by CNOOC (30%), Sinopec (30%), Shell (20%) and Unocal (20%), is located about 350 km east of Ningbo in Zhejiang. CNOOC is the operator of the field and expects an initial daily production of 7.1 mln cu m to begin next year. The output will be delivered to Shanghai and Zhejiang via an undersea pipeline.

However, as the Japanese media have been reporting, Tokyo has recently suggested that the gas field violates Japanese sovereignty in the East China Sea. The Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi asked about the details of the gas field when meeting with his Chinese counterpart at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Ministerial Meeting in Qingdao early this week.

The Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said that he has been involved in discussions on the subject with Kawaguchi, but he did not give any further details, according to the Hong Kong press reports. The Chinese Foreign Ministry was not immediately available to field questions on the issue.

Both China and Japan claim 200 nautical miles of the East China Sea as their respective Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Since the widest part of the East China Sea is only 360 nautical miles wide, this has led to longtime territorial rows between the two countries.

China insists on using the Okinawa Trough as a natural division, while Japan advocates setting the border at the equidistance from each shore. The Chinese way of dividing the East China Sea gives Japan a smaller area but has the backing of international treaties, the Chinese government claims.

Instead of putting the blame on Chinese oil rigs, Tokyo's latest concern regarding the Chunxiao field focuses on its underwater development, raising concern that the field extends into Japanese waters.

"This is really hard to verify. How can you prove it?" said Liu. "This has to do with [locating] the reserves and the oil the gas signs underwater, and needs to adopt very complicated technologies."

"There has to be a division somewhere. After all, the whole world is connected," added Liu.

Japanese reconnaissance aircraft are paying close attention to the construction at Chunxiao, although the planes stop short of crossing the Japanese interpretation of the border.

There are further suspicions on the Chinese side, as the other gas field developed by CNOOC in the East China Sea, Pinghu, lies even further away from the Chinese coast. "But the Japanese government never said anything about that field. Maybe it's not that close to the Japanese division line, but we really have no idea where that line is. It's confusing," said Liu.

Standing 400 km southeast of Shanghai, the Pinghu gas field has been placed under the daily surveillance of Japanese P-3C aircraft since 1998 when exploration and development was first initiated. The field is closely watched because of its proximity to the disputed borderline. As Interfax previously reported, Japanese pilots took aerial pictures of the field while Chinese oil workers, standing on top of the rig, looked on.

"The dispute has reached a stalemate and I believe each side should exercise restraint at this time," said Liu. China's state-owned oil company, CNOOC, told Interfax today that the Chunxiao gas field it is developing in the East China Sea lies within the Chinese border even according to the demarcations accepted by Japan, which have been disputed by China.

"The Chunxiao gas field does not cross the borderline even if the Japanese method of demarcation is adopted. There is still several kilometers in distance," said CNOOC spokesman Liu Jingshan in a telephone interview.

"Besides, we have never accepted the legitimacy of the Japanese demarcation," said Liu.

Chunxiao, jointly developed by CNOOC (30%), Sinopec (30%), Shell (20%) and Unocal (20%), is located about 350 km east of Ningbo in Zhejiang. CNOOC is the operator of the field and expects an initial daily production of 7.1 mln cu m to begin next year. The output will be delivered to Shanghai and Zhejiang via an undersea pipeline.

However, as the Japanese media have been reporting, Tokyo has recently suggested that the gas field violates Japanese sovereignty in the East China Sea. The Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi asked about the details of the gas field when meeting with his Chinese counterpart at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Ministerial Meeting in Qingdao early this week.

The Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said that he has been involved in discussions on the subject with Kawaguchi, but he did not give any further details, according to the Hong Kong press reports. The Chinese Foreign Ministry was not immediately available to field questions on the issue.

Both China and Japan claim 200 nautical miles of the East China Sea as their respective Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Since the widest part of the East China Sea is only 360 nautical miles wide, this has led to longtime territorial rows between the two countries.

China insists on using the Okinawa Trough as a natural division, while Japan advocates setting the border at the equidistance from each shore. The Chinese way of dividing the East China Sea gives Japan a smaller area but has the backing of international treaties, the Chinese government claims.

Instead of putting the blame on Chinese oil rigs, Tokyo's latest concern regarding the Chunxiao field focuses on its underwater development, raising concern that the field extends into Japanese waters.

"This is really hard to verify. How can you prove it?" said Liu. "This has to do with [locating] the reserves and the oil the gas signs underwater, and needs to adopt very complicated technologies."

"There has to be a division somewhere. After all, the whole world is connected," added Liu.

Japanese reconnaissance aircraft are paying close attention to the construction at Chunxiao, although the planes stop short of crossing the Japanese interpretation of the border.

There are further suspicions on the Chinese side, as the other gas field developed by CNOOC in the East China Sea, Pinghu, lies even further away from the Chinese coast. "But the Japanese government never said anything about that field. Maybe it's not that close to the Japanese division line, but we really have no idea where that line is. It's confusing," said Liu.

Standing 400 km southeast of Shanghai, the Pinghu gas field has been placed under the daily surveillance of Japanese P-3C aircraft since 1998 when exploration and development was first initiated. The field is closely watched because of its proximity to the disputed borderline. As Interfax previously reported, Japanese pilots took aerial pictures of the field while Chinese oil workers, standing on top of the rig, looked on.

"The dispute has reached a stalemate and I believe each side should exercise restraint at this time," said Liu. China's state-owned oil company, CNOOC, told Interfax today that the Chunxiao gas field it is developing in the East China Sea lies within the Chinese border even according to the demarcations accepted by Japan, which have been disputed by China.

"The Chunxiao gas field does not cross the borderline even if the Japanese method of demarcation is adopted. There is still several kilometers in distance," said CNOOC spokesman Liu Jingshan in a telephone interview.

"Besides, we have never accepted the legitimacy of the Japanese demarcation," said Liu.

Chunxiao, jointly developed by CNOOC (30%), Sinopec (30%), Shell (20%) and Unocal (20%), is located about 350 km east of Ningbo in Zhejiang. CNOOC is the operator of the field and expects an initial daily production of 7.1 mln cu m to begin next year. The output will be delivered to Shanghai and Zhejiang via an undersea pipeline.

However, as the Japanese media have been reporting, Tokyo has recently suggested that the gas field violates Japanese sovereignty in the East China Sea. The Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi asked about the details of the gas field when meeting with his Chinese counterpart at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Ministerial Meeting in Qingdao early this week.

The Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said that he has been involved in discussions on the subject with Kawaguchi, but he did not give any further details, according to the Hong Kong press reports. The Chinese Foreign Ministry was not immediately available to field questions on the issue.

Both China and Japan claim 200 nautical miles of the East China Sea as their respective Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Since the widest part of the East China Sea is only 360 nautical miles wide, this has led to longtime territorial rows between the two countries.

China insists on using the Okinawa Trough as a natural division, while Japan advocates setting the border at the equidistance from each shore. The Chinese way of dividing the East China Sea gives Japan a smaller area but has the backing of international treaties, the Chinese government claims.

Instead of putting the blame on Chinese oil rigs, Tokyo's latest concern regarding the Chunxiao field focuses on its underwater development, raising concern that the field extends into Japanese waters.

"This is really hard to verify. How can you prove it?" said Liu. "This has to do with [locating] the reserves and the oil the gas signs underwater, and needs to adopt very complicated technologies."

"There has to be a division somewhere. After all, the whole world is connected," added Liu.

Japanese reconnaissance aircraft are paying close attention to the construction at Chunxiao, although the planes stop short of crossing the Japanese interpretation of the border.

There are further suspicions on the Chinese side, as the other gas field developed by CNOOC in the East China Sea, Pinghu, lies even further away from the Chinese coast. "But the Japanese government never said anything about that field. Maybe it's not that close to the Japanese division line, but we really have no idea where that line is. It's confusing," said Liu.

Standing 400 km southeast of Shanghai, the Pinghu gas field has been placed under the daily surveillance of Japanese P-3C aircraft since 1998 when exploration and development was first initiated. The field is closely watched because of its proximity to the disputed borderline. As Interfax previously reported, Japanese pilots took aerial pictures of the field while Chinese oil workers, standing on top of the rig, looked on.

"The dispute has reached a stalemate and I believe each side should exercise restraint at this time," said Liu. China's state-owned oil company, CNOOC, told Interfax today that the Chunxiao gas field it is developing in the East China Sea lies within the Chinese border even according to the demarcations accepted by Japan, which have been disputed by China.

"The Chunxiao gas field does not cross the borderline even if the Japanese method of demarcation is adopted. There is still several kilometers in distance," said CNOOC spokesman Liu Jingshan in a telephone interview.

"Besides, we have never accepted the legitimacy of the Japanese demarcation," said Liu.

Chunxiao, jointly developed by CNOOC (30%), Sinopec (30%), Shell (20%) and Unocal (20%), is located about 350 km east of Ningbo in Zhejiang. CNOOC is the operator of the field and expects an initial daily production of 7.1 mln cu m to begin next year. The output will be delivered to Shanghai and Zhejiang via an undersea pipeline.

However, as the Japanese media have been reporting, Tokyo has recently suggested that the gas field violates Japanese sovereignty in the East China Sea. The Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi asked about the details of the gas field when meeting with his Chinese counterpart at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Ministerial Meeting in Qingdao early this week.

The Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said that he has been involved in discussions on the subject with Kawaguchi, but he did not give any further details, according to the Hong Kong press reports. The Chinese Foreign Ministry was not immediately available to field questions on the issue.

Both China and Japan claim 200 nautical miles of the East China Sea as their respective Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Since the widest part of the East China Sea is only 360 nautical miles wide, this has led to longtime territorial rows between the two countries.

China insists on using the Okinawa Trough as a natural division, while Japan advocates setting the border at the equidistance from each shore. The Chinese way of dividing the East China Sea gives Japan a smaller area but has the backing of international treaties, the Chinese government claims.

Instead of putting the blame on Chinese oil rigs, Tokyo's latest concern regarding the Chunxiao field focuses on its underwater development, raising concern that the field extends into Japanese waters.

"This is really hard to verify. How can you prove it?" said Liu. "This has to do with [locating] the reserves and the oil the gas signs underwater, and needs to adopt very complicated technologies."

"There has to be a division somewhere. After all, the whole world is connected," added Liu.

Japanese reconnaissance aircraft are paying close attention to the construction at Chunxiao, although the planes stop short of crossing the Japanese interpretation of the border.