News / Asia

    Vietnam Urges 'Practical US Actions' in S. China Sea

    A Vietnamese sinking boat (L), which was rammed and then sunk by Chinese vessels near disputed Paracels Islands, is seen near a Marine Guard ship (R) at Ly Son island of Vietnam's central Quang Ngai province, May 29, 2014.
    A Vietnamese sinking boat (L), which was rammed and then sunk by Chinese vessels near disputed Paracels Islands, is seen near a Marine Guard ship (R) at Ly Son island of Vietnam's central Quang Ngai province, May 29, 2014.
    Vietnam is calling on the United States to take a larger role in protecting the peace and settling conflicts in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

    A foreign ministry spokesman in Hanoi, Le Hai Binh, said Friday, "We hope that the U.S. will have a stronger voice and make further practical acts to contribute to protecting maritime safety and security in the region and resolving the disputes there in accordance with international law.”

    The Vietnamese call for more U.S. involvement comes as Vietnamese ships continue to clash with Chinese ships near a controversial oil rig that Beijing placed in disputed waters last month.

    In an interview with VOA's Vietnamese service Friday, Captain Le Van Xinh, whose fishing vessel has ventured into the area near the oil rig, described a scene of escalating dangers to boats like his. He also called for dialogue between Hanoi and Beijing.

    "We’d like to see the two countries, Vietnam and China, come up with peaceful resolutions through talks so that we, the fishermen, will be able to operate without fear within our own waters," said Le Van Xinh. "We’d like to ask Hanoi to try to protect our sovereignty so that we would be able to keep working on our traditional fishing areas to earn our living."

    According to Vietnamese officials, Chinese ships have sunk one of its ships and damaged 24 others, as well as injured 12 members of its fisheries surveillance force. But China accuses Vietnamese ships of being the aggressors, saying they have rammed Chinese ships 120 times since early May.

    The U.S. has said it does not take sides in the dispute and wants countries in the region to settle their differences peacefully.

    At a recent military forum in Singapore, though, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said “China has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea.”

    Last year, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the U.S. would provide about $18 million to help Vietnam patrol its territorial waters.

    When asked recently about the prospect for further U.S. military support for Hanoi, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State of Human Rights, Tom Malinowski said the relationship will improve as Vietnam's human rights record improves.

    "Vietnam is a relatively small country with a very large neighbor. And Vietnam needs international law. It needs to be part of a community that is based on respect for a common set of rules that are broadly understood and broadly respected. And part of the bargain is that there are other rules and laws, including those that protect individuals," said Malinowski.

    China's territorial claims in the South China Sea overlap with those of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

    This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.

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    Comments page of 5
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    by: Kuteo from: Quebec
    June 08, 2014 1:42 PM
    The Communist Vietnam will die alone this time for sure.
    The Uncle Sam will sale weapon for Vietnam, part of business.
    If the war truly will happen the US make $$$$$$$$ by sale weapon.

    by: Young thing from: nowhere
    June 08, 2014 12:15 PM
    washing linen in public will never resolve anything in a difficult situation.

    by: Adam9 from: Dong Nai, VN
    June 08, 2014 11:31 AM
    @OldDog
    Ah! Sending Jane Fonda to Vietnam? What a lovely idea!
    Just picture this:
    -Ms. Jane Fonda herself on a fishing boat with a bunch of her Vietnamese friends, at a safe distance away from the Chinese ships and a loudspeaker over her mouth, screams:
    … Ahoy there, you big bully, you! Go home! Stop bothering my friends!
    That would really be something!!!

    by: Michael o Williams from: Guyana
    June 08, 2014 10:39 AM
    Is it the case that Vietnam has lost memories of History? Why the urgency ,and the begging for more of the US involvement in Asia;more so in practical ways? Such involvement would not be good for Peace,Prosperity and security in Asia .

    by: meanbill from: USA
    June 08, 2014 10:26 AM
    AN UNDENIABLE FACT? -- The US and China are signatures of the (UNCLOS) the "UN Convention of the Law of the Sea" -- (BUT?) -- the US didn't ratify the (UNCLOS), and China opted out under Article (298) of those rules, that didn't satisfy their claims. -- (FACT?) -- Since 1947 when the US arbitrarily moved it's (EEZ) 200 nautical miles from it's continental shelf, -- (USING US RULES?) -- China arbitrarily claimed their (EEZ) on the "Nine Dash Line" in 1947 .. using ancient centuries old territorial records and maps....

    FACTUAL FACTS? --- The (UNCLOS) or the "UN Convention on the Law of the Sea" is a hodgepodge of rules and regulations, and the "Nine Dash Line" was established long before the (UNCLOS). -- (FACT?) -- There are no set legal rules or regulations governing "The Law of the Sea" and the US and China wouldn't be bound by any of them, if there were? ..... REALLY

    by: Hoang Van Bao from: Lam Dong, Viet Nam
    June 08, 2014 7:53 AM
    On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the end of Vietnam War, April 29, 2000, Senator John McCain of the US said to the news people:
    "I think that the wrong guys won, I think that they lost millions of their best people who left by boat, thousands by execution and hundreds of thousands who went to re-education camps."
    Almost 40 years have gone by, 80% of the people in Vietnam are still poor while members of the Communist Party of Vietnam are very rich. All levels of government officials are corrupted. All media outlets (TV stations, printed newspapers,) … are owned or controlled by the government of Vietnam. Decisions on national policies are made by the 16 members of the politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Over all, the so called government is not really a government; it is just a collection of members of the Communist Party of Vietnam in charge of carrying out policies of the Communist Party of Vietnam. The people of Vietnam in Vietnam have no voice in how the country should be run or do with any political matter; in effect, the country is being run (and ruined) by this HUGE political party called the Communist Party of Vietnam.
    This collection of rulers of Vietnam is one of the most oppressive regime on the face of the earth today; a merely mention of the term “Cong an” (the regime's police) can instill a cold feeling of fearful to the spine of any normal Vietnamese person in Vietnam today.

    by: Panha from: El Centro Ca92243
    June 08, 2014 4:19 AM
    The French loosing face in Vietnam,China got rip off by Vietnam, Russia bankrupt because back Vietnam,USA walked away from Vietnam,I do not expect my president will help to support the cheaters and ungrateful like Vietnam or WE'll get cheated by Vietnam as the second time? Let them fight each others and we'll help after they are exhausted.

    by: Full metal
    June 08, 2014 4:13 AM
    Thousands of american men were forced to go fight and die in Vietnam for democracy.
    Vietnam wanted to be communist.
    You got what you wanted, and now you come crawling to america for help, it looks pathetic.

    by: Kim Dung from: Saigon
    June 07, 2014 10:48 PM
    I nominate and support Cu Huy Ha Vu for the office of presidency of a democratic Vietnam.

    by: We just fade away
    June 07, 2014 10:09 PM
    @OldDog from: MD - Suggestion please!
    You may want to send John Kerry to Beijing too. He may be able to organize some kind of "anti-aggressive behavior" campaign there. A few loud noise and medals throwing demonstrations against the Chinese government in the streets of Beijing ought to be helpful to the Vietcong too.
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