Ignoring Chinese warnings on Friday, India and Vietnam decided to focus on oil and gas exploration in the potentially oil-rich South China Sea while deepening their bilateral relations.
After Beijing's objections to the ongoing exploration in two Vietnamese blocks in the South China Sea by India's ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua said the activities could "poison" China-India relations.
However, external affairs minister SM Krishna and his Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh decided in Hanoi that they would extend their cooperation to defence and various economic sectors for the next three years.
HT had broken the story on Thursday that India would go ahead with OVL's exploration in accordance with international rules and conventions.
Though the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson declined comment on Friday, Xinhua said, "Aggressive overseas explorations from the Indian side in the highly sensitive sea, over which China enjoys indisputable sovereignty, might poison its relationship with China, which has been volatile and at times strained."
"The Indian government should be cool-headed and refrain from making a move that saves a little only to lose a lot," it said.