Veiled Chinese threat to India over Vietnam oil deal

Upping the ante China has responded to Indian and Vietnamese defiance of Chinese sentiments on oil exploration in the East Sea, what China refers to as the South China Sea, by referring to the Indian strategy as ''an extremely dangerous whirlpool''.

The comments were made in a major Chinese newspaper on Sunday, which advised the Indian company to reconsider and pull out of its commitments with Vietnam.

The comments came even as India's state-run explorer the Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) said last week its overseas investment arm, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), had signed a three-year deal with PetroVietnam for developing long-term cooperation in the oil sector, including exploiting oil blocks in the South China Sea.

The China Energy News, published by Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily, said cooperation between India and Vietnam in these waters was a bad idea.

"India's energy strategy is slipping into an extremely dangerous whirlpool," it said in a front page commentary.

Both China and India have huge energy needs, which had led them to compete in some parts of the world and cooperate in others, it said.