The President, while talking to reporters on board his special aircraft after wrapping up his four-day state visit to the Southeast Asian country, said no "connection" should be seen between this tour of his and the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India.

Mukherjee will receive the Chinese President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday.

With Beijing objecting to the recent Letter of Intent signed between India's ONGC Videsh Limited and Petro Vietnam for offering oil blocks to the former, Mukherjee said it was important to "keep in mind" that the state-run oil explorer has been present in the South China Sea for long now.

"One point is to be kept in mind. OVL is exploring and exploiting in South China Sea from 1988 and this (recent pact between India and Vietnam in this regard) is just a commercial action.

"There should not be any political angularity to it. We have made no comment about the contentious issue about the sovereignty over South China Sea because the disputes are amongst various maritime countries sharing territory in South China Sea," Mukherjee said when asked about his reaction on questions being raised about the deal.

"We have always based the idea that these issues should be resolved peacefully as per international laws and practices. All disputes are to be settled through dialogue in a peaceful mechanism and there is no scope of use of force or threat of use of force," he said.

Territorial disputes in the South China Sea involve both island and maritime claims among Brunei, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who accompanied the President on this trip, said all the seven blocks offered by Vietnam to India for oil exploration fall "within the territorial waters of Vietnam."

He said his ministry was "enthusiastic" about the prospects of the deal.

The President said he sees no doubtful reason in the timing of his visit to Vietnam, where India, apart from the oil sector pact, inked six others MoUs on various issues of bilateral cooperation.

"These (his Vietnam visit and Chinese President coming to India) are totally independent issues and one is not connected with other. First of all, we shall have to remember that our external relations with each country is independent with our relation with other country," Mukherjee said.

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