China began moving the controversial oil rig near the Xisha Islands on July 15, easing a two-month standoff with Vietnam over vast fisheries and oil and gas reserves.
The rig deployed by Chinese State oil company China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) on May 2 sparked deadly riots in Vietnam and tense encounters between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels.
The tension also invited the US to call for Asian nations to freeze further construction. Michael Fuchs, US deputy assistant secretary of state for strategy and multilateral affairs, said on July 11, that Washington wants the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China to have "a real and substantive discussion" to flesh out a call for self-restraint contained in a Declaration of Conduct agreed in 2002.
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