News / Asia

Vietnam Protests List of Chinese 'Sovereignty Violations'

Marianne Brown
Border demarcation contention continues to plague the South China Sea.  China's claim for the entire sea is denied by its regional neighbors.  This week, Vietnam released a media statement listing recent concerns about territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Among the so-called “sovereignty violations” was a map of China’s Sansha City, published last week, which includes the Paracel and Spratly islands, two areas also claimed by Vietnam.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi says Vietnam asked China to respect the country’s sovereignty, terminate the “wrongful acts” and not allow similar acts to be repeated.

The statement included an accusation that, on November 30, Chinese ships cut the cables of Vietnam’s Binh Minh 2, a seismic survey vessel. The ship belongs to state-owned oil and gas giant, PetroVietnam. The company accused China of cutting the survey cables at least twice last year, triggering weeks of anti-China protests in Vietnam’s major cities.

Deputy head of exploration, Pham Viet Dunung says the ship was operating within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

He says many Chinese fishing boats were causing problems for the company’s activities.

In response to the allegations, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei says the government is investigating the allegation and that the fishermen were engaging in normal fishing activities in that part of the sea.

Topping Vietnam’s list of so-called territorial violations are revised border security regulations released by China’s Hainan province last week, which will affect the country’s coastal regions, including the contested archipelagos, from January First.

The plan says Chinese police may stop and search foreign ships which enter waters claimed by China in the South China Sea.  Monday, the Philippines called it a “gross violation” of international law, because China claims almost all the sea.

Analysts say the regulations could have serious consequences for the critical international shipping route, but that it depends how they are put into action.  Every country has the right to stop illegal activities within its territorial waters, says defense analyst Carl Thayer.

"So on the face of it, so what, it’s like blustering. But then if you transpose that in the attempt to take action in waters not around Hainan and even the Paracels, then they are really escalating the situation," he said.

Analysts say if the regulations are executed in disputed areas which are occupied by other countries, like Vietnam or the Philippines, then China could be accused of piracy or even an act of war.

Despite the the possible serious international implications, Thayer says Hainan authorities are responsible for the new regulations, not Beijing.

"I don’t think the central government in China ordered these or orchestrated them but it’s clear there has been a neglect by the central government and local authorities act as cowboys at sea," he said.

In the statement released Tuesday, Vietnam Foreign Ministry spokesman Nghi says the ministry has met with representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi, to give them a note protesting the recent incidents.

The same day, state media reported Vietnam had set up a "maritime surveillance force" which will have the authority to arrest crews and impose fines on foreign vessels within Vietnam's declared exclusive 370-kilometer economic zone. Analysts say the move is well-timed, rather than being a deliberate response.

You May Like

Isolation, Despair Weigh on Refugees in Remote German Camp

Refugees resettled near village of Holzdorf deep in German forestland say there is limited interaction with public, mutual feelings of distrust

Britons Divided Over Bombing IS

Surveys show Europeans generally support more military action against Islamic State militants, but sizable opposition exists in Britain

Russia Blacklists Soros Foundations as 'Undesirable'

Russian officials add Soros groups to a list of foreign and international organizations banned from giving grants to Russian partners

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Rsdcliff from: Aus
December 09, 2012 9:22 PM
Nothing good could come out from a war between China and Vietnam except pain, more distrust and hatred so why don't both countries just st down and negotiate a join development of this disputed area and share the resources together.

by: Lesson Learned from: USA
December 07, 2012 4:09 PM
@jay Z. Do not underestimate Viet Nam. These are unbelievable tough and resilient people. They have tremendous pride, and will make the most daunting sacifices. And they've been fighting China for 1,000 years.

Viet Nam is the only country to defeat the United States on the open battlefield; with small arms no less. Not too shabby...

by: remie from: canada
December 06, 2012 7:39 AM
@jay Z, oh there will be a reaction and china is a bully. U chinese r the worst cry baby still crying about ww2 and japan but yet u do the worst ,pure hyprocrite

by: jay.z from: Cbus
December 05, 2012 12:58 PM
Really, Vietnam. Rather than crying about it, why don't you go do something about it? If you can. You may get sympathy and "it's ok" pats on the shoulder, but are you seeking islands or pity? You want the islands? Modernize your military, and then start whining.

(Good luck with that, by the way. I hear that Vietnam's currently not in condition to pick a fight with China.)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle reports from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs