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Politics & Law

Vietnam seeks regional unity as China pushes maritime claims

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung

Vietnam’s prime minister called for unity among Southeast Asian countries as China asserts its claims to the energy-rich South China Sea, warning that any conflict could disrupt international trade and the global economy.

Tensions in the decades-old territorial dispute between six Asian claimants have risen in recent weeks after Chinese vessels converged near a ship the Philippines ran aground on a reef in 1999 to mark its territory.

“Somewhere in the region, there have emerged preferences for unilateral might, groundless claims and actions that run counter to international law and stem from imposition and power politics,” Nguyen Tan Dung said in a speech on Friday at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual regional security forum in Singapore.

“A single irresponsible action or instigation of conflict could well lead to the interruption of huge trade flows, causing unforeseeable consequences not only to regional economies but also to the entire world,” he said in remarks translated from Vietnamese.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea as its territory, setting it directly against the Philippines and Vietnam as it displays the growing “blue water” reach of its navy and the United States turns more of its attention to Asia.

Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also claim parts of the South China Sea, whose waters are vital to the international flow of goods and energy and whose seabed is believed to contain rich deposits of oil and natural gas.

U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel is attending the three-day forum convened by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), with the U.S. “pivot” toward Asia, the region’s military build-up and the South China Sea high on the agenda.

Stressing the need for “strategic trust”, Dung said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must stay united and strong, without any of its 10 members “forced to take sides with one country or the other for the benefit of their own relationships with big powers.”

ASEAN has been talking to China about a binding code of conduct to ease tensions but Beijing has said it will negotiate “when the time is ripe”. ASEAN foreign ministers are due to meet in Thailand in August to forge a position on the code of conduct before meeting Chinese officials in Beijing.

Vietnam will not be a military ally to anyone or allow any country to set up military bases on its soil, Dung said, adding the modernisation of its forces was “only for self-defence and to safeguard our legitimate interests”.


China’s response to the actions of its rival claimants may be part of a very long-term negotiating strategy, said Christian Le Miere, a senior fellow at the IISS.

“I would call it a form of opportunistic assertiveness whereby China is often aware that these actions are going to happen and then uses them as a justification for its overzealous reactions,” Le Miere told a news conference.

“What we will continue to see is China trying to change the facts on the water and trying to build a stronger legal case and adapt the legal environment to its own benefit wherever possible and continue with its maximalist claims because they will, in the future, provide China with a stronger negotiation position.”

A Chinese military think-tank, the Centre for National Defence Policy, said this week the U.S. pivot to Asia had “shattered” the relative calm of the South China Sea.

“While the conditions do not yet exist for a large-scale armed clash, the dispute is becoming normalised and long-term … and ineffective management may lead to a serious crisis,” the report said, according to the China News Service.

Washington says it is focusing more security, economic and diplomatic attention on Asia to engage the fast-growing region, which has fuelled Chinese suspicions that the United States is trying to contain its economic and military might.

Source: Reuters “Vietnam PM seeks regional unity as China pushes maritime claims”


About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee


4 thoughts on “Vietnam seeks regional unity as China pushes maritime claims

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.


    Posted by OyiaBrown | June 1, 2013, 6:22 pm
  2. Having just returned from four months in India, I am more attuned to China and her intentions in the region and t he world. Thanks for your information! Namaste. . . . . .Anne


    Posted by annetbell | June 1, 2013, 6:43 pm


  1. Pingback: China tells Vietnam it wants peace in South China Sea | China Daily Mail - June 21, 2013

  2. Pingback: Calls to punish China grow | China Daily Mail - May 7, 2015

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