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Chinese activities in Vietnam’s waters will lead to situations where “he sticks his back”, according to experts.
When China’s Hai Duong 8 survey ship group violates Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf in the South China Sea region since early July, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Nam affirmed that this is a complete sea area of Vietnam, according to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Talking to VnExpress, Professor Carl Thayer, Australian Defense Academy, University of New South Wales, evaluated China’s actions to show that Beijing disobeys international law, wants to unilaterally implement the so-called “calendar rights”. history “with the entire South China Sea. And the dispatch of the Hai Duong 8 ship into Vietnam’s EEZ may be due to the direction of the Chinese state-owned company manager or a higher-ranking official targeting political objectives.
From the perspective of an Asian security expert for a long time, Thayer argues that China’s regulation of ships to Vietnam’s waters leads to three major consequences.
First, China has undermined Hanoi’s strategic belief in Beijing, when relations between the two countries in 2019 seem to be on the rise after a series of incidents in 2014, 2017 and 2018.
During high-level meetings, the leaders of Vietnam and China frequently reiterated the agreement to comply with the “Agreement on Basic Principles for Handling Sea Problems” that the two sides signed in 2011. In which , the two countries agreed to respect each other, constantly pushing the negotiation process, following international law, making the South China Sea a peaceful sea.
“However, China’s actions violated the 2011 Agreement,” Thayer said.
Across the region and the world, China has had distractions with members of ASEAN and with major partners such as the US, Japan and Australia. Although Beijing pledged not to complicate the South China Sea situation, not to militarize the region, but many countries have announced irrefutable satellite images showing China build large-scale, establishing Military base and many modern equipment deployment.
Second, China has internationalized the South China Sea itself. China’s illegal actions in the South China Sea attract the attention of the international community to the problem that the country has long wanted to resolve bilaterally. Immediately after the strong response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, the US State Department on July 20 expressed concern before reports on Beijing’s intervening activities in the region, including oil and gas. including long-term exploration and exploitation activities of Vietnam. The United States stressed China’s “repeated action” on offshore oil and gas development, threatening regional energy security and weakening the Indian-Thai energy market freely. and openness.
“The US firmly opposes coercion and intimidation from any party to assert its territorial claims and maritime claims. China needs to refrain from engaging in these provocative and destabilizing activities. “The US State Department’s announcement said.
Senior US security officials later spoke up. Admiral Philip Davidson, commander of the US Navy’s Indian-Pacific Command, criticized China’s provocative activities such as militarizing the islands, displaying military power in the South China Sea. . He argued that the biggest long-term strategic threat to the US and the law-based international order was China. US Deputy Secretary of Defense John Rood also considered Beijing a top security threat, arguing that China could change global order, in the direction of good or worse.
“It can be said that China’s actions have helped internationalize the South China Sea dispute, something Beijing always opposes,” Thayer said.
Dr. Collin Koh Swee Lean, expert at S. Rajaratnam International School of Studies, Singapore (RSIS), also said that when international opinion is of great interest to China to ship to the South China Sea of Vietnam. Male, especially after the US issued a statement of condemnation, the Chinese people will also know about the incident.
“When domestic opinion knows the international reaction to Beijing, the government is losing credibility with its own people and China will be very confused in handling,” Collin said.
Thirdly, this time of Chinese shipbuilding could lead to a delay in negotiating the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) between Beijing and ASEAN. According to Thayer, this delay will frustrate China’s intention to “use COC to persuade countries to cooperate in resource exploitation disputes, excluding the involvement of non-regional countries.”
China has repeatedly stated that it does not want foreign countries to intervene in negotiations between Beijing and other disputed countries and ASEAN. The prospect of achieving a COC agreement, a legally binding code of conduct, still has a long way to go. China and ASEAN have started COC discussions since 2013 but as of August 2018, the two sides agreed draft text of COC, which is considered “a great progress”.
Regarding the upcoming developments, Thayer predicted that the Chinese fleet would withdraw but noted that China did not give up its intention to dominate the region and force other countries to accept.
“Beijing will continue to push for oil companies and landscape forces to the exclusive economic zone of coastal countries to force them to accept China’s role,” Thayer warned.
Dr. Collin said that if Chinese ships in the South China Sea retreated for a reason “not losing face”, Beijing would continue to use this bullying method in the future. On the contrary, if face is lost, China will take other harmful measures for Vietnam and other countries with the dispute.
Thayer suggested that Vietnam should focus on strengthening cooperation with many countries in building capacity for maritime forces, especially in the EEZ.
If taking into account legal action with China like the Philippines has done, Vietnam should show that it still expresses its desire to “settle disputes by peaceful means”. Hanoi should argue that it is goodwill and has attempted to exchange all with Beijing.
In 2020, as ASEAN Chairman, Vietnam needs to strengthen lobbying to create a united front of the Association in COC negotiations with China. “Vietnam should make it clear that it will not accept a COC that allows China to continue to violate international law, including UNCLOS,” Thayer said.
In addition, Gregory Poling, Director of the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said that Vietnam needs perseverance and determination in the previous struggle. Chinese threat. In May, Malaysia continued its oil and gas exploration operations around Luconia Shoals, when it was prevented by Chinese maritime vessels. Both Poling and Collin said that China does not want to “push tension” to the point of armed conflict.
“Whichever scenario happens, it is important that Hanoi also needs to make it clear that intimidating behavior will not go anywhere and it should not always belong to the strong,” Collin said.