Beijing has condemned Hanoi for escalating tensions in the South China Sea, an act the People's Republic says is a violation of its indisputable sovereignty in the area.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei claimed that China's fishing vessels attempted to chase Vietnamese fishing boats out of the waters.

Vietnam's Foreign Minister Nguyen Phuong Nga accused the Chinese fishing vessels of cutting seismological cords on the PetroVietnam ship during an expedition on Thursday morning to study the vast oil reserves in the South China Sea.

In her Chinese counterpart's statement, Hong Lei claimed that one of the fishing nets became tangled with the cables, and were thus destroyed.

The [contact between the cables and the Chinese ship's fishing net] seriously endangered the safety of the Chinese fishermen, Hong told Chinese national news agency Xinhua.

Vietnam's Nguyen held that the destruction of the cables was premeditated.

Today Vietnam announced that it will hold a live fire drill in the South China Sea on June 13. The drill is slated to last for six hours.

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