News / Asia

    Vietnam Adds Sea Patrols Amid Tensions With China

    VOA News
    Vietnam is adding new patrols to protect its fishing grounds in the South China Sea after the country's state-run energy giant accused Chinese vessels of sabotaging one of its boats in the disputed waters.

    State media said Tuesday the "maritime surveillance force" will have the authority to arrest crews and impose fines on foreign vessels within Vietnam's declared exclusive 370-kilometer economic zone. It will be deployed on January 25.

    It comes a day after PetroVietnam said several Chinese fishing vessels cut the cables of one of its exploration vessels in the South China Sea last week. The state-run company said it later repaired the cable, but called the act a "blatant violation of Vietnamese waters."

    China and Vietnam are in a long-running dispute over their competing claims in the South China Sea, and small-scale clashes occasionally break out between patrol boats or fishing vessels.

    Vietnam, the Philippines and other East Asian nations accuse China of increasing aggressiveness in defending its claims in the South China Sea. China claims nearly all of the 3.5 million square-kilometer area, an important shipping route that also contains potential energy deposits.

    Last week, regional tensions were raised after China announced new rules authorizing police in southern Hainan province to board and seize foreign ships it says are illegally entering its territory.

    Regional power India also says it is ready to deploy naval vessels to protect its oil-exploration interests the South China Sea. Indian Navy Chief Admiral D.K. Joshi said Monday that his ships have the mandate to defend his country's interests in the area when necessary.

    India does not have competing claims with China to the area, but its state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has a stake in a gas field off the coast of Vietnam.

    Rory Medcalf of the Lowy Institute for International Policy says Admiral Joshi's remarks should not be seen as an overt challenge to Beijing.

    "I think his remarks are primarily aimed at a domestic Indian audience, to assure them of India's naval capability and its willingness to protect its interests," he said. "I don't think, however, that India is picking a fight over this."

    Medcalf says he doubts whether India would act unilaterally in the South China Sea, saying it would have difficulty in sustaining any military deployments there.

    But Australian National University defense analyst John Blaxland predicts that regional tensions will continue to rise in the South China Sea, and Beijing is not likely to back down.

    "The oil and gas resources that are understood to be underneath the South China Sea are potentially massive. And for a resource-starved country like China, they are too important for these little countries in Southeast Asia take from them," said Blaxland.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Matt from: USA
    December 30, 2012 12:52 AM
    Why we need to fall into a Chinese trap?
    Senkaku, Paracel or Spartly are not belong to China. Chinese government just play the game from "The Art of War" textbook; by create the faulty conflict follow by a negotiation. As we seat down negotiate with China, we are indirectly accepting China present on those territories.
    No negotiation. No investment. Just say NO to China.

    by: Redcliff from: Aus
    December 09, 2012 2:38 AM
    @ Samurai

    " What China is doing is just like what a gangster does against a pedestrian.... China still cannot understand that its lawless behavior only enables Japan to justify putting a beating on Chinese ethics and manners".

    So you still believe in this form mentality that Japan can continue acting the way it was in the WWII. This kind of comments you prescribed reminds me of the history lesson of the brutal and atrocious deeds committed by the Japanese military on China, its Asian neigbours and the Allies.

    Let me say this. I do have many Japanese friends and they are unlike you:
    * They understand what Japan did in the WWII to China and
    other Asian neighbours and they are apologetic and remorse
    over these brutal and atrocious deeds
    * They are open- minded in their views of Japan Today and of
    their nationalistic politicians views.

    In my recent visit to Japan, over dinner, one of them made this comment and I like to share with you.

    " There are Japanese and Chinese on both sides who look at each other with hate and contempt and no matter how hard you try you cannot reason with them"

    How true. I hope you are not one of this type.

    by: Redcliff from: Aus
    December 09, 2012 2:19 AM
    @ remie

    I like to draw your attention to my earlier comments to Giang from Vietnam to you but I also like to add that I am sure many countries including China and Japan do involved in the Business of technology espionage and not that I condoned it.

    Your comment that why would Asian nations invest resource with China when it isn't China in the first place. If this is the situation then current dispute with the relevant Asian nations would not have occurred.
    I am not sure what is China agenda with regards to Asia and the world. There seems to be numerous hypothesis floating around and I am not one to try to justify their existence.

    by: remie from: canada
    December 07, 2012 8:01 AM
    @redcliff, u must be chinese,anyways u cannot compare japan to china . Japan have different situation and they r not sneaky,back stabbing, two face , stealing(copy)technology government. Japan is not communist.
    Why would asian nations invest resource with china when it isnt china in the first place. Also u give china a little and eventually they will sneak their way and take alot. China has no peace agenda but agressive ambition to take over asia and then world.

    by: Samurai from: Japan
    December 07, 2012 2:14 AM
    China is always posing problems in the world. Today, its patrol ships have again invaded Japanese territorial waters. What china is doing is just like what a gangster does against a pedestrian---the gangster picks holes in the pedestrian and demands money or robs him of money. China still cannot understand that its lawless behavior only enables Japan to justify putting a beating on Chinese in order to teach Chinese ethics and manners.

    by: Redcliff from: Aus
    December 06, 2012 10:50 PM
    @ Giang from Vietnam

    After WWII Japan had to rebuild from the ashes. It copied and improved on western ideas and technology including manufacturing technique and look at Japan now an advanced and developed nation.
    30 years ago China has also followed a similar path and and although not regarded as a developed nation now would soon be one with the help of members of the world community.
    I am sure Vietnam is also following the path of Japan and China.
    Is just that it does not want to admit it.

    by: Steve from: Australia
    December 05, 2012 1:39 PM
    Beware china ! Do not under estimate the strength of these south east asian countries. Also India is a force you might wanna double check - growing economy, growing power and unrevealed military potential.

    by: Sun from: Taipei
    December 05, 2012 1:09 AM
    All disputes between China and other countries will sure disappear when China observes international laws and pays money for other countries' natural resources. Otherwise, China can never become a great country to be respected by other countries.
    In Response

    by: Redcliff from: Aus
    December 05, 2012 11:15 PM
    @ Sun

    Why don't we go one step further. all Asian nations that have dispute with China to invest in a common Fund for exploration and development of the resource rich zone. In this manner every nations concern have the benefittof this resources.

    by: Giang from: Vietnam
    December 04, 2012 10:46 AM
    Stop investing in China, don't look at the short-term benefit. It will steal your technologies and comes back to attack you in 10-20 years, so you are killing your own by putting money and technologies to them.
    In Response

    by: Giang from: Vietnam
    December 05, 2012 9:37 PM
    Look at some big American companies like google, HP, Apple, etc. and now china has weboo, lenovo, chinese car... I'm not sure about the examples but it is the result of your investment. I think the american companies will meet a lot of difficulties in the next few years after the chinese ones even bigger.
    In Response

    by: Redcliff from: Aus
    December 05, 2012 7:17 PM
    Your thinking is a bit negative. In my opinion investors and others should engaged more with China so that China could further develop and open itself to the world. This would allow China to engaged with other nations in a bi-lateral beneficial manner.
    Dispute could be resolved by negotiation. There are many who criticized China for exerting its presence in South China Sea due to its new found economic power which is to a larger extend is true but by the same token those who criticized are also contributing to and inflaming the dispute.
    Vietnam which has dispute with China in the South China Sea had approved contract for India to explore energy in disputed area and recently the New Delhi Strategic Affair analyst, Braskar Roy, claimed that India should sent its Navy to protect it's SOVEREIGNTY. I failed to see the logic in this argument. Braskar Roy should point out to us as to which island in the South China Sea belongs to India, It has only an exploration contract and right with Vietnam and already it tried to claim sovereignty.
    I only brought up Vietnam action and Braskar's comment to highlight my opinion that the action and illogical comment has the equivalent of inflaming the current already tense environment in the South China Sea.

    by: Tony from: Cali
    December 04, 2012 10:39 AM
    It is historically true that in the Map of China published in 1904 under the Qing dynasty the southernmost part of China was Hainan and there was not the so called "South China Sea" in it.

    Thus, could VOA please not call the East Sea of Vietnam "South China Sea" any more? The waters claimed by several ASEAN countries should be named South East Asean Sea.
    In Response

    by: Worry from: U.S.
    December 05, 2012 1:02 AM
    China is trying to base its territorial claims on a long defunct monarchy that it has in no other way recognized as legitimate. The Qing Dynasty died in 1911, as did the monarchy itself. The People's Republic has never recognized the claims against the monarchy or its successor. Mao Zedong did not ascend the Qing throne in 1949 as far as I can remember.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    December 04, 2012 5:27 PM
    Excelent comment, Tony!

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