Vietnam's foreign ministry has said its oil exploration in the South China Sea, known locally as the East Sea, is a normal practice under a deal with a Spanish partner. 

"All relevant petroleum activities by Vietnam take place in waters entirely under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of Vietnam," foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang told the press following reports China threatened to attack Vietnamese bases in the East Sea unless Vietnam stopped the drilling project.

The Spanish Repsol Group is in charge of the process and progress of the drilling project, in accordance with the terms agreed by related parties, Hang added.

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