News / Asia

No Clear Route Emerges in Vietnam Sea Spat With China

FILE - A Chinese Coast Guard vessel, with the disputed oil rig in the background, is seen in the South China Sea, June 2014.
FILE - A Chinese Coast Guard vessel, with the disputed oil rig in the background, is seen in the South China Sea, June 2014.
Marianne Brown

As Vietnam mops up after anti-China riots last month with insurance payouts and tax refunds to affected businesses, there is still no solution in sight for the ongoing territorial face-off in the South China Sea.

Tensions sparked by the deployment of a Chinese oil rig in May in waters Vietnam also claims see no sign of abating. As the country juggles its options, however, it also is picking up the pieces following anti-China protests several weeks ago which sparked riots in industrial zones across the country.

The Vietnamese government has taken “resolute actions” to compensate businesses and the prime minister and deputy prime minister instructed local authorities to work with those affected, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Le Hai Binh said during a regular press briefing Thursday.

He said affected businesses have resumed normal operations.

Among the payouts, insurance companies in Dong Nai province handed out $1.87 million in compensation, including 30 from Taiwan, two from China and three from Vietnam, the Finance Ministry says on its website.

Earlier in the month Binh Duong province, one of the worst hit, handed out $5.5 million in insurance claims to 113 companies, 87 of which were Taiwanese.

Senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, Ha Hoang Hop, said the riots were deeply regrettable. But he said they happened “out of the hands of the Vietnamese government and the will of the Vietnamese people”.

"This is a very negative event but I do not think that that kind of riot and the consequences of that would affect negatively to any bilateral negotiation between Vietnam and China," Hop.

Protesters display placards while shouting slogans outside the Chinese Consulate in Manila against China's construction in a disputed are of the South China Sea, June 12, 2014.Protesters display placards while shouting slogans outside the Chinese Consulate in Manila against China's construction in a disputed are of the South China Sea, June 12, 2014.
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Protesters display placards while shouting slogans outside the Chinese Consulate in Manila against China's construction in a disputed are of the South China Sea, June 12, 2014.
Protesters display placards while shouting slogans outside the Chinese Consulate in Manila against China's construction in a disputed are of the South China Sea, June 12, 2014.

Following the riots, Vietnam has clamped down on anti-China protests, which for a short while were tolerated across the country.

About 15 people gathered last week in central Hanoi with just enough time to unfurl a banner and shout some slogans before seven of them were dragged away by police.

A member of the Communist Youth Volunteers, 22-year-old Do Anh Vinh was helping security forces hold back protesters. He said he believes the protests were giving the country a bad reputation.

He said the government can protect Vietnam’s sovereignty.

While Vietnam restrains anti-China sentiment at home, tensions with China see no sign of abating. Last week, shortly after a visit to Hanoi by State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Beijing announced it was moving an additional four oil rigs to the South China Sea, one of which is now deployed on the boundaries of Vietnamese and Chinese territory.

Spokesman Binh said Vietnam was closely monitoring the position of the rigs.

Vietnamese leaders have said the government is considering legal action against China. Some experts say preparing a case, though, would take too long and would be too expensive.

ISEAS Fellow Hop disagrees.

"I do not think the preparation will take too long time more from now. I think that many things have been prepared," said Hop. "And actually the preparation should not be too costly. Also, in terms of both politics and legality, people do not have to wait until all of the things are complete to bring it to the international court."

In the meantime, both sides continue to blame the other for ramming their ships in the area.

On Thursday, Vietnam said Chinese ships have rammed 27 fisheries surveillance vessels more than 100 times, injuring 15 people. China says Vietnam rammed its vessels more than 1,000 times.

 

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ttk2102
June 27, 2014 3:26 PM
China is a BIG thug. They are counterfeits most of everything in this world, they are stilling all of the advance technologies in the world, they even fake/lips sang their national anthem and they never have human rights in their own country.....
China was always trying to invade and take over many countries in the South East Asia for thousands of years. If anyone using Google map to see where the dispute lands are. You can tell by common sense those lands are clearly belonging to the Vietnamese/Japanese/Philippines/Malaysian.

by: JACK from: US
June 27, 2014 1:43 PM
Communist Viet Nam lie to its people. They trade Viet Nam to Red China for their Party and their profit . Viet Nam will be part of China as long as the communist party is still alive. Do not believe what communist says. They serve China asa servant. POOR VIET NAM PEOPLE ! NOBODY CAN HELP YOU BUT YOURSELF.

by: Kamikaze from: Japan
June 27, 2014 4:10 AM
Vietnamese government pays compensation fee even to Chinese businesses; however, Chinese government has never compensated Japanese businesses that have been sacrificed by Sino riots.
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
June 27, 2014 8:43 AM
The little island of the rising sun, that "once" was the empire of the rising sun, has never paid compensation for all the atrocities committed against all the other Asian countries in the region, have they? --- Maybe China will take it off the bill, from the WW2 war? .. that the little island never paid?

The little island of the rising sun, has no friends or allies in Asia, and if not for the US protecting them they'd be helpless militarily..... and the little island ancestors are turning in their graves, hearing the whining and crying coming from the little islanders?

by: Peter Guardino from: USA
June 27, 2014 12:22 AM
Hanoi already accepted Chinese sovereignty over the entire Paracels decades ago, so the rig being 15 miles south of the southern Paracels is a non-issue. But the U.S. will just keep quiet and let the two sides squabble. Divide and rule!
In Response

by: wake-up from: Portland, Or
June 27, 2014 11:23 AM
will you take your bother land and give it to your neighbor without his consent, then you said it is ok? either way that is wrong, when you said ok for your neighbor to steal your mother land.

by: So So from: US
June 26, 2014 7:26 PM
No backing down from all sides, the disputes will go on.

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