As the Philippines heads to first base through the filing of its territorial dispute lawsuit against China; Vietnam is now up to bat.
On 6 May (today in Asia), newspapers announced China’s decision to conduct deep-sea drilling near the Paracel islands—a set of islands South Vietnam held during the US occupation of South Vietnam; however, when the US left, China took the opportunity to seize the islands by invading the islands in 1974 and killing ~70 Vietnamese soldiers. The Paracel Islands lie some 200 miles off the coast of Vietnam (Da Nang); whereas when comparing to China, it is ~500 miles from Hong Kong or ~300 miles from Hainan Island.
Vietnam has largely been quiet over this issue…until now. As memorial services have started appearing (last one I’m familiar with was the 40th anniversary of the invasion last year in January) and now as Beijing begins exercising its “right” over the resources in what Vietnam believes is their Economic Exclusive Zone (or EEZ), Hanoi is forced to address this issue with one of its closest ideological neighbors.
Vietnam is backed by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (or UNCLOS), showing that Vietnam holds the EEZ through its definition. But China won’t listen. As reported earlier, Vietnam has been meeting with other Southeast Asian States (Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and sometimes Brunei) to work on a joint strategy for battling China’s aggressive actions…. But so far, only the Philippines has brought China to court (see here).
Going back to lovely baseball metaphors… As China has thrown yet another pitch; will Vietnam get another strike, or will they be able to score a base hit?
Article for you to read here “Vietnamese officials decry presence of offshore Chinese rig in disputed, oil-rich stretch of sea” (Al Jazeera)
Michael Daniels, my former colleague and still very good friend, and I came together to write a piece explaining the truth behind China’s claims over the South China Sea.
China undoubtedly has a vicious bark, but when you look behind the curtain… Michael and I saw only what amounted to a tape recorder and a hand puppet. Needless to say, the ‘evidence’ Beijing has produced doesn’t amount to much in our eyes.
Please take a moment to read and as always, look forward to your comments.
Published Article found here.
Article was published on Rappler.com; the Philippines’ #1 online news source.
As tensions have continued to grow with China attempting to assert is growing might in both the East and South China Seas, Tokyo stood up and gave Manila a pat on the back of support in their landmark case against Beijing.
Being well-timed, Japan also sent the JS Shirane (DDH 143) and JS Asayuki (DD-132) two “escort ships” (Japanese word is 護衛艦; however, the rest of the world navies call the same vessels “destroyers “) to dock in Manila for a four-day “goodwill visit” which will culminate in a joint exercise. The Japanese are also using this to emphasize the strategic nature of the partnership with the Philippines in Southeast Asia.
Two things come to mind after reading these articles…
First, makes me wonder if the joint exercise will be a resupply mission to the Marines in the contested area… and secondly, I’m curious if the United States’ coordinated its recent visit with Japan to show a unity of effort of alliance partners—will South Korea or Australia next come out and support the Philippines in kind?
Jumping back to the first article – Japan has insisted their support is based off of the peaceful resolution of this dispute, specifically pointing to UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) as the reason for this action… which of course is contrary to China’s claim that they are the ones abiding by UNCLOS. …Hence the reason for this international tribunal to take place 😉
Hopefully with this action taking place, more countries will follow suit (in filing actions against China for their aggressive behavior) and regional peace and stability will return. Or it may cause China to become upset with the system and challenge the status quo. What are your thoughts?
Japan support article found here: http://bit.ly/1ktwuLM
Japan’s Escorts Dock article here: http://bit.ly/1orUzIP
(Photo from: http://investphilippines.org)
In the latest “tit for tat” exchange, the Philippines responded in kind after China had stated it would defend it’s territory without compromise–and this was including those areas currently contested in or out of court between China and other nations.
What did Manila say exactly? That “the Philippines was basing its position on the principles of international law” and also “[had] the right to defend every inch of its territory.”
So, now we have two countries that will defend their country (without compromise) … while increasing military units in the area. China has recently sprayed fisherman with water cannons and has warned off other vessels carrying construction materials in the disputed territory. As the Philippines have purchased more frigates and are now moving their western defense naval assets closer to the area… how soon until something tragic occurs? And who will cause it? Thoughts?
Read more @ http://bit.ly/1h8BDXq
(picture from globalbalita.com)
Today the Philippines has officially refused China’s offer to mutually withdraw from the Scarborough Shoal. Interestingly enough, China was quick to announce that it had never made such an offer while citing that “China’s determination of upholding territorial sovereignty and integrity is unshakeable. We will not do any trade with our territory and maritime rights and interest”.
As reported, Manila plans to file an arbitration case against China in March. China has made references that they will not participate in the hearings, so the main question that comes up is… Will China act like the United States, when the United States was sued by Nicaragua?
The United States refused to participate in the proceedings based on the claim that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) had no jurisdiction. Furthermore, after the United States lost the case in the ICJ in 1984, the United States blocked the enforcement of the judgment using their position on the United Nations Security Council. This means that even though Nicaragua won the settlement, they were unable to obtain any restitution.
So what does this mean for the Philippines? It could mean that China, who is also a permanent member of the UN Security Council, could imitate the United States’ actions and keep the status quo as it is now: China maintaining its claims, and staying with the Philippine’s exclusive economic zone.
What do you think we should do?
Read the article @ http://bit.ly/NE1rC1
China’s tried everything from brute force to a ‘carrot’ (defined as a mutual withdrawal of ships, as well as other reported investment opportunities) to keep the Philippines from taking their Territorial claim in the South China Sea (sorry Philippines, I have to use the IHO standard which states it’s SCS, not the West Philippine Sea).
China has refused the arbitral proceedings; however, the trial can still be conducted in absentia.
The Philippines has examined their case against the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which defines (among many other things, but in particular) the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (i.e. territory held into the sea); which will help the Philippines in this territorial dispute.
Good luck Philippines!
Read more @ http://bit.ly/1oapiVj
Note: Scarborough Shoal is what the Philippines calls the Panatag Shoal